Murderer sentenced to life in prison after new sentence hearing

Barry Trynell Davis, Jr., was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the 2012 murders of John Gregory Hughes and Hiedi Ann Rhodes. (WJHG/WECP)

WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A man who was once on death row now has a new sentence: life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Thursday, Barry Trynell Davis, Jr. was back in a Walton County courtroom for a new sentence hearing. He was convicted of two counts of murder in 2015 and was sentenced to death by a jury, though it was not unanimous.

Since Florida's death sentencing process was found unconstitutional, Davis got another sentence hearing. Florida's Supreme Court did uphold his convictions for murder.

On May 7, 2012, Davis murdered John Gregory Hughes and Hiedi Ann Rhodes in Hughes' home in Grayton Beach. Davis attacked Hughes while Rhodes and Davis' girlfriend were at the store, leaving Hughes bloody and unconscious in his bedroom. When the women returned from the store, Davis attacked Rhodes. He bound them with duct tape and drowned them in Hughes' bathtub. The bodies were never found.

After the murders, Davis went to Hughes' home and stole a lot of things that belonged to Hughes. He also forged three checks and stole Hughes Cadillac Escalade truck. Multiple things stolen from Hughes' home were found at Davis' home, a storage unit, and at friends of Davis' homes. There were also things recovered from a local pawn shop and items had been sold on Craigslist by Davis' girlfriend.

There was no evidence anything of value was taken from Rhodes. The evidence showed the motive for her murder was to eliminate her as a witness.

This week, the jury heard testimony and arguments and reached their decision Thursday. The jury had two options: sentence Davis to death or life without the possibility of parole. After deliberating, the jury decided life without the possibility of parole was the appropriate sentence.

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