Twenty-seven year old Barry Davis appeared in court briefly this morning, where the state announced its intent to seek the death penalty if he's found guilty on two counts of first degree murder. Davis is accused of killing John Gregory Hughes and Hiedi Ann Rhodes in May of last year. Walton County Sheriff's Investigators say Davis was helping Hughes move furniture from his Grayton beach home. After killing Hughes and Rhodes, authorities say Davis disposed of their bodies. The Hughes family is offering a twenty thousand dollar reward for information leading to the recovery of Hughes and Rhodes’ bodies. When investigators arrested Davis in February, he was already in the Walton County Jail on an unrelated charge.
"We have a death penalty committee that reviews these cases composed of seasoned prosecutors and investigators and we wanted an opportunity to do that. We usually take several weeks after the original arrest to do that in order to be reflective and not reactive. We've done that. We've been very methodical and we feel very confident that our decision to seek the death penalty is the correct legal decision" said State Attorney Bill Eddins.
Because this is now a capital punishment case, the judge will appoint two new lawyers with death penalty experience to represent Davis.