Guilty pleas in Powhatan county

By Beth Danziger - bio | email

Posted by Terry Alexander - email

POWHATAN, VA (WWBT) - Guilty pleas Friday from two people charged with helping the suspects in the Tahliek Taliaferro case flee the state after the deadly shooting. David Franklin and Bennett Davis pled to two counts of accessory after the fact. Both got two months behind bars.

Their attorneys say their clients knew what they did wrong and have worked with the commonwealth's attorney. And they may work with him one more time as the last suspect in the case heads to trial next week.

Unlike other Tahliek Taliaferro homicide trials the Powhatan courthouse Friday was quiet. The only people who showed for the David Franklin and Bennett Davis case were Franklin and Davis.

The two pled guilty to driving cousins Joey and Ethan Parrish and Stephanie Reynolds to Maine after the June 2008 shooting incident. It left 18-year-old Tahliek Taliaferro dead and 14-year-old Courtney Jones wounded.

"We weren't transporting them to get them out of their crime," said David Franklin.

In April, Franklin and Davis admitted to the crime in an interview with channel 12. But they said they did it out of fear more than any other reason.

They say Ethan Parrish was contemplating suicide and even talking about tricking law enforcement into shooting him.

"He said he was going to crack two rocks together like he was armed. He really wanted to die for he had done," said Bennett Davis.

This openness with the public and with the sheriff's department is what their attorney's believe helped with their sentence. Both received only two months behind bars for their accessory after the fact charges.

"She knew people on both sides family and friends and so they got put into a situation they didn't want to be in and they tried to make the best of it," said Bennett Davis's attorney Michael Huoyoung.

The last suspect in the case Stephanie Reynolds heads to trial on Tuesday. Neither attorney knows if their clients will participate but they plan to be on standby for the prosecution just in case.

"Both our clients are good people young people who want to move on with their lives," said Evelyn Tucker, David Franklin's attorney.

Bennett Davis got credit for time served, so will not be heading back to jail. David Franklin still needs to serve a few days. He will do that on the weekends.

Joey and Ethan Parrish will be sentenced for their involuntary manslaughter convictions on June 4. Once again Stephanie Reynolds has her trial next Tuesday. It's expected to just last one day.

(c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.