Not guilty verdict reached for man accused of shooting, killing someone at his child’s birthday party

Published: Oct. 20, 2023 at 11:22 AM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - A man accused of killing someone at a child’s birthday party in 2021 was found not guilty by a St. Louis jury Friday.

Michael G. Davis, 24, was found not guilty on charges of first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of William Kennedy, 27, on June 6, 2021.

In the trial, Davis testified that he killed Kennedy in self-defense while at a birthday party for Davis’ 2-year-old daughter. The party was being held at Davis’ in-laws in the 3000 block of Mount Pleasant Street in the city’s Mount Pleasant neighborhood.

According to prosecutors, Kennedy was unarmed, and there was no immediate threat to Davis. A witness told authorities Kennedy did not provoke Davis before the shooting.

Defense lawyer Charles Barberio told jurors that Davis did not want to attend the birthday party, as he feared Kennedy after Kennedy threatened him with a handgun months earlier.

According to police, Davis drove from the party after the shooting and turned himself in at St. Louis Police Headquarters, providing the pistol and an ammunition magazine.

Circuit Judge Lynne Perkins presided over the four-day trial in St. Louis Circuit Court.