Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Teenager sentenced to a year in jail in Plant City hit and run

Nona Pearson, mother of victim Charles Pearson, shows photographs of her son to Dallas Davis, 18, during his sentencing Monday.

STEPHEN J. CODDINGTON | Times

Nona Pearson, mother of victim Charles Pearson, shows photographs of her son to Dallas Davis, 18, during his sentencing Monday.

TAMPA — On her route, bus driver Nona Pearson passes the stretch of Plant City road where her 28-year-old son was killed. She sees the cross. She remembers his blood. She thinks about the teenage boy who caused the crash and left Charles to die.

She went to the courthouse Monday to see him sentenced, ready to tell Dallas Duane Davis, now 18, what it felt like to be her.

"Dallas," she told the tall, slim, crying man in the suit, "you should've just come to the house that night and killed me, because that's just what you've done to me. I have hardly nothing left."

The early morning of Sept. 6, 2008, Charles Pearson and his girlfriend, Lisa Vaught, were driving home when they slowed to allow the car ahead to turn.

Davis, coming up along U.S. 92 with three friends in his mother's car, rammed into the back of Pearson's truck going what prosecutors estimate was 60 mph. Without seat belts, Pearson and Vaught were ejected.

Davis' car came to rest 1,000 feet away. He left no skid marks. He didn't call 911 or flag down a car. As he and his friends left on foot, he saw an ambulance, called by someone else.

In the hospital, Mrs. Pearson remembered a conversation she had with her son when he was 16 and had just gotten his driver's license. He told her he wanted to be an organ donor.

"How could you see your way to heaven if your eyes are donated?" she joked with him.

Four people received his kidneys, his liver and his heart.

Vaught, now 23, awoke in the hospital with lacerations to her shoulders, arms and leg, fluid in her abdomen, a fractured spine and an injured heart.

Davis swore he didn't see the other car or the ejected passengers on the dark road. He also swore he didn't drink that night, though a friend said he saw him.

He called his mother, Karen Davis, and told her he had been in an accident. He said the other car had taken off, she testified. She didn't call 911. She didn't ask if he did. Instead, fearing her son would get in trouble for driving past curfew, she said she reported the car stolen.

Assistant State Attorney Barbara Coleman said there wasn't enough evidence to charge her.

On Monday, Mrs. Davis admitted the false report. "I made a bad judgment call," she said. "I lied."

Dallas Davis pleaded guilty last month to leaving the scene of a crash with death. As part of a deal, prosecutors said they would ask for him to be sentenced as a youthful offender, capping any possible prison time to six years.

On Monday, Coleman asked for four years in prison followed by two on probation. Davis' attorney Ty Trayner asked for probation, saying Davis was so depressed he attempted suicide. He said Davis just graduated from high school and wanted to graduate from Hillsborough Community College.

Circuit Judge Denise A. Pomponio told Davis he would have to put that on hold for a year he will spend in jail. She withheld adjudication, meaning he won't be labeled a convicted felon, and also sentenced him to six years' probation. If he violates that, he could face 30 years in prison.

Before he was sentenced, Davis said he was sorry. Mrs. Pearson doesn't think he's remorseful now, but wants him to write her a letter when he gets out of jail.

She wants him to spend the year thinking about what to say.

Alexandra Zayas can be reached at azayas@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3354.

Teenager sentenced to a year in jail in Plant City hit and run 06/07/10 [Last modified: Monday, June 7, 2010 11:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. South Florida poaches debris pickup trucks once slotted for Tampa, officials say

    Hurricanes

    TAMPA — A week into the job of picking up an estimated 300,000 cubic yards of Hurricane Irma debris from its streets, Tampa City Hall is finding to its dismay that the challenge is more competitive than expected.

    A city of Tampa truck loaded with debris from Hurricane Irma pulls into a temporary storage yard on N Rome Avenue Friday morning. There, workers from Tetra Tech, the city's debris monitoring contractor, photograph and check the load from an elevated platform to create a record that the city can use later to seek reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
  2. Wisniewska: I protected our students and USFSP campus

    Columns

    Throughout my tenure in academia, my focus has always been on putting students first.

    The USF St. Petersburg Campus, Thursday, June 19, 2014.
  3. Bucs defensive end Chris Baker (90) is seen during training camp last month at One Buc Place. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Bucs' defensive attributes in opener included flexibility

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It's a blink-and-you-miss-it nuance, but in Sunday's opener against Chicago, on their very first defensive snap, the Bucs lined up in a 3-4 defense.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter shakes hands with cornerback Brent Grimes (24) before an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times 

  5. Along the Alafia River, the grateful extend a hand to the Irma-sodden weary (w/video)

    Hurricanes

    LITHIA — The things that make a house a home dried in the afternoon sun Thursday in a front yard on Williams Street.

    Volunteers from FishHawk Fellowship Church helped Brian Hood (left) clean up debris from his yard in Valrico, Fla. Last week the Alafia River reached a depth of almost 23 feet, about 10 feet above its flood stage. Many homes were damaged, some became uninhabitable. Hood's home is 6 inches above Lithia Pinecrest Road, and did not sustain flood damage, though not all of his neighbors were as lucky.   [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]