Grand jury to review case involving former student accused in teacher's murder

Published: Feb. 9, 2010 at 5:46 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 11, 2010 at 4:33 AM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
Police found Anthony Davis' SUV Wednesday morning off Back Creek Church Road.
Police found Anthony Davis' SUV Wednesday morning off Back Creek Church Road.
Anthony Davis was found shot to death inside his home Tuesday morning.
Anthony Davis was found shot to death inside his home Tuesday morning.
Police question Davis' neighbors on Lady Liberty Lane.
Police question Davis' neighbors on Lady Liberty Lane.
Police block off a wide area around Davis' home during their investigation.
Police block off a wide area around Davis' home during their investigation.

By Jeff Rivenbark - email
     Sharon Smith - bio l email
     Brigida Mack - bio l email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A grand jury will now decide if the case involving a Charlotte man accused of murdering his former teacher will go to trial.

Ashanti Bess, 22, has been charged with murdering 38-year-old Anthony Davis who was found dead in his southwest Charlotte home on Tuesday, Feb. 9.

During the bond hearing Monday, Feb. 22, a decision was made to send the case to the grand jury for review.  The grand jury hearing is scheduled for Monday, March 1.

Meanwhile, Bess is being held in the Mecklenburg County Jail without bond.

Records show Bess met Davis about 10 years ago.  Davis was a teacher at Sedgefield Middle School and Bess was a student.

Bess was also involved in the Right Moves for Youth program which encourages teens to stay in school.  Bess dropped out of that program while Davis continued to volunteer for Right Moves for Youth.

Bess is also facing charges of robbery and larceny of a vehicle.  The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said robbery was a motive for the deadly shooting.

Neighbors of Bess told WBTV they were shocked to learn about the charges.

"That makes it all the more sad," said LaToya Hardy who did not know Bess. "That you know this guy was a mentor to this kid and he utilized that to his advantage to, you know, do him harm."

When Davis did not show up for work at Randolph I.B. Middle School on Monday, Feb. 8, or Tuesday, Feb. 9, a concerned relative called the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

Officers met Davis' family members at his home on Lady Liberty Lane on Tuesday around 9 a.m.  Once inside, cops discovered Davis' dead body.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said Davis' 2007 Ford Edge was also missing from his driveway.

The next day, police officers found Davis' vehicle off Back Creek Church Road.  By 7 a.m., they towed it to police headquarters for processing.  Police also said they recovered items Bess stole from Davis' home the night of the murder.

Relatives said they cannot imagine who would have reason to harm Davis.  They described him as someone who loved teaching and was trying to further his career.

"I just cannot express how I feel," said Josephine Miller, Anthony Davis' aunt.

Lorenzo Peterson, who is Davis' college friend, heard the news on the radio and he went by the house on Tuesday to see if it was true.  Peterson paused to gather his emotions before telling WBTV how Davis had worked through college to keep his family together.

"Just extraordinary, he taught me a lot about responsibility at a very young age," Peterson said.

Davis was a CTE (career and technical education) business teacher at Randolph I.B. Middle School.

One student told WBTV that Davis was a mentor to many other students at the school.

"He was like a second father to me," said 11-year old Janee Gooden who had Davis as a teacher last semester in a keyboarding class.  "He would talk to me when I was upset, and he would give me advice to calm down and do the right things and not get in fights, and stay in school."

Other people at the school said Davis was known to encourage his students to make right choices in life.  He also advocated for non-violence, an issue that hit close to home for him.  Family members said Davis's mother was murdered in the late 1990s.

Davis was hired to teach at Randolph Middle School in 2004 and had been employed with the school district in various teaching positions since December 1998.

Copyright 2010 WBTV. All rights reserved.