Lakeland Woman Sentenced to Life in Prison for Shooting Death
By Jason Geary - TheLedger.com
Friday, September 27, 2013
BARTOW - Jamie Carole Davis was sentenced Friday to
spend the rest of her life in prison for fatally shooting a woman
who had been having sex with her longtime boyfriend.
Last month, a jury found the 38-year-old Lakeland
woman guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Christina
Tuzzolino, 32, who was shot on the morning of Aug. 8, 2010.
Davis' boyfriend, Danny Beckner, and Tuzzolino had
been together at a motel, and the shooting took place after they
drove to the home on Sea Oats Circle in Lakeland where Davis and
Beckner lived, according to investigative reports.
Davis testified during her trial that Tuzzolino
threatened her during a cellphone argument, and she armed herself
with a revolver because she was afraid of Tuzzolino.
Davis told jurors that the handgun accidentally fired
as she struggled with Tuzzolino.
Prosecutors argued there wasn't a struggle, and Davis
fired the handgun in anger because she was upset Tuzzolino was
having a sexual relationship with Beckner.
Davis did not speak during Friday morning's hearing.
Her lawyer, Adam Bantner, said his client was "very
remorseful" for Tuzzolino's death and wanted to express
condolences to her family.
He described Davis as a good mother to her six
He said the shooting was a tragic incident that was
out of character for Davis, who has no prior criminal history.
Circuit Judge Roger Alcott could have imposed a
mandatory minimum punishment of 25 years in prison.
Instead, the judge went higher, saying he heard the
testimony during Davis' trial and felt life imprisonment was
Assistant State Attorney David Sammons and
Tuzzolino's parents, Terry and Cynthia Wilson, also had urged the
judge to sentence Davis to life imprisonment.
Cynthia Wilson described Davis as a "monster" and a
"bully" who allowed her children to have contact with Beckner,
whom she accused of being a drug dealer.
Beckner was arrested on criminal charges stemming
from the investigation into the fatal shooting.
Last year, he pleaded no contest to several charges,
including tampering with physical evidence and possession of a
firearm by a convicted felon.
He was sentenced to four years in prison and 10 years
Cynthia Wilson spoke about the pain of losing her
daughter and watching Tuzzolino's three children grow up without a
"You took my baby's life," she said, weeping. "You
don't deserve to be anywhere but prison for the rest of your
Tuzzolino's father, Terry Wilson, said he didn't
think Davis was remorseful for his daughter's killing.
"I hope she never sees the light of day again," he
said. "She gets to speak to her six children again. All we can do
is look at a picture of our daughter."
Lakeland Woman Convicted in Shooting Death of Rival
By Jason Geary - The Ledger.com
Friday, August 23, 2013
BARTOW - A circuit court jury found Jamie Davis guilty Friday
of second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a woman who had
been having sex with her longtime boyfriend.
Davis, 38, faces up to life imprisonment. She will be sentenced
next month by Circuit Judge Roger Alcott.
She was found guilty as charged of killing Christina Tuzzolino,
32, who was shot on the morning of Aug. 8, 2010.
"It's been three long years that we've been waiting for this,"
said Tuzzolino's father, Terry Wilson. "The family is ecstatic
with the outcome."
Wilson thanked prosecutors for their hard work in taking the
case to trial.
"Now our daughter can rest in peace," he said.
During Friday's closing arguments, Assistant State Attorney
David Sammons told jurors that Davis opened fire on Tuzzolino
because she was angry.
Davis' boyfriend, Danny Beckner, and Tuzzolino were having a
sexual relationship, he said.
"Jamie Davis was livid," Sammons said. "She was seeing red. She
couldn't see straight. She grabbed a revolver to go out and
Beckner and Tuzzolino had been together at a motel, according
to investigative reports. The two got in Beckner's truck and drove
to the home on Sea Oats Circle in Lakeland where Davis and Beckner
During the drive, Davis called Beckner's cellphone and a heated
argument took place between Tuzzolino and Davis, and the women
threatened each other, reports state.
When the truck arrived at Davis' home, Davis came outside with
a .38-caliber revolver, and Tuzzolino was shot, reports state.
arguments, Davis' lawyer, Adam Bantner, told jurors that his
client got the handgun because she was afraid after Tuzzolino's
threats, and the handgun accidentally fired during a struggle.
Davis testified the gun
went off as she was "tussling" with Tuzzolino, who was still
inside the truck.
Davis said the gun
fired as she was trying to block Tuzzolino from striking her.
She said she saw
something in Tuzzolino's hand that she thought was a knife.
suggest the object could have been a cellphone. A knife was not
found in the area of the truck, reports state.
Bantner argued the
gunshot wound to Tuzzolino's neck was fired at very close range
and was consistent with a struggle taking place between the two
One neighbor testified
to seeing a struggle. However, another neighbor told jurors that
there wasn't a struggle, and Davis raised the gun to fire.
that Davis was acting in fear and insisted she could have called
law enforcement for help.
"She wasn't scared,"
After the shooting,
Davis called 911 and lied to dispatchers that Tuzzolino was armed
with a knife and was trying to force her way into Davis' home,
"From the very
beginning, Jamie Davis is trying to say what she needs to say to
make this go away," Sammons said.
Lakeland Woman on Trial in Fatal 2010 Shooting
By Jason Geary - TheLedger.com
Thursday, August 22, 2013
BARTOW - A lawyer told jurors Thursday that a Lakeland woman
was trying to defend her family when she fatally shot another
woman who had been having sex with her longtime boyfriend.
Jamie Carole Davis is accused of second-degree murder in the
killing of Christina Tuzzolino. If convicted as charged, Davis
faces up to life imprisonment.
The trial is expected to continue today.
Tuzzolino, 32, was shot on the morning of Aug. 8, 2010.
Prosecutors say Tuzzolino had been having a sexual relationship
with Davis' longtime boyfriend, Danny Beckner.
During Thursday's opening statements, Assistant State Attorney
David Sammons told jurors that Beckner and Davis had an argument
the day before the shooting took place.
Beckner left and met Tuzzolino at a motel, Sammons said.
The two later got in Beckner's truck and drove to the home on
Sea Oats Circle in Lakeland where Davis and Beckner lived, he
Investigative reports state Beckner told detectives that
Tuzzolino wanted $500, and she was threatening to harm him with a
Davis' lawyer, Adam Bantner, told jurors that Davis called
Beckner's cellphone and they got into an argument.
Davis also argued with Tuzzolino during the cellphone call, and
Tuzzolino threatened to harm Davis and her children, Bantner said.
"Family is not an important thing. It's everything," Bantner
Davis decided to get a handgun to protect her family and went
outside when she saw Beckner's truck, the lawyer said.
Bantner insisted that his client didn't intentionally fire the
Davis saw something in Tuzzolino's hand and thought it was a
knife, he said.
Investigative reports suggest the object could have been a
cellphone. A knife was not found in the area of the truck, reports
Davis tried to use her handgun to block the object, and the
firearm discharged, Bantner said.
Autopsy results show Tuzzolino was struck once around her neck.
She walked a short distance away before collapsing and was
taken to Lakeland Regional Medical Center, where she died from her
injuries, according to investigative reports.
Beckner, 46, was arrested on criminal charges stemming from the
investigation into the fatal shooting.
Last year, he pleaded no contest to several charges, including
tampering with physical evidence and possession of a firearm by a
He was sentenced to four years in prison followed by 10 years
A friend of Beckner's, Sherri Ann Casinger, also was arrested
on charges stemming from the investigation into the fatal
She pleaded no contest in November 2010 to tampering with
physical evidence and possession of a firearm by a convicted
She was sentenced to 18 months in prison followed by five years
Sheriff Judd: Love Triangle Triggered Slaying
Davis is accused of killing boyfriend's lover.
By Jeremy Maready
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
LAKELAND - Jamie
Davis told detectives she snapped after she learned her boyfriend
of 18 years was having an affair and then saw him parked in the
driveway of their home with the other woman.
Davis grabbed a
.38-caliber pistol Sunday morning and charged the truck with her
boyfriend, Danny Beckner, and Christina Tuzzolino inside. After a
brief argument, Davis shot Tuzzolino in the neck, sheriff's
officials said. Tuzzolino died from her injuries Sunday evening at
Lakeland Regional Medical Center.
"I was so mad, I couldn't see
straight," Davis told detectives, according to Polk Sheriff Grady
She told detectives the shooting wasn't intentional but
witnesses contradicted that account.
On Tuesday, after sorting
through multiple stories, sheriff's detectives charged Davis with
Beckner was charged with accessory to
second-degree murder, resisting an officer without violence,
possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, maintaining
a dwelling for drug use and possession of a firearm by a convicted
felon, according to arrest affidavits.
Polk County Judge John
Kirkland ordered Davis be held without bail. The judge revoked
Beckner's bail for the charge of possession of a firearm by a
convicted felon. Kirkland ordered Beckner be held without bail on
that charge and set $62,000 bail for Beckner's other charges.
The shooting happened about 7:35 a.m. Sunday at the home Davis and
Beckner share at 2622 Sea Oats Circle in Lakeland. The situation
had been escalating for hours, according to investigative
About 3 a.m., Beckner and Tuzzolino met at Relax Inn
in North Lakeland to have sex, according to reports.
a.m., Davis called Beckner, asking where he was and who he was
with, Judd said. Beckner told Davis he was at the Relax Inn with a
male friend. Davis and Beckner argued about his association with
Tuzzolino, reports said.
About 7:30 a.m., Beckner and Tuzzolino
left the motel and drove to the home on Sea Oats Circle in West
That's when Davis called again, detectives said. This
time, Tuzzolino grabbed Beckner's phone and argued with Davis.
The pair threatened to harm each other, reports said. During the
argument, Tuzzolino called her boyfriend, Rudolph Vokojevich, and
left a voicemail recording of the argument.
That was typical for
Tuzzolino, Judd said. "It's her safety net for when she's with
During the call, Tuzzolino can be heard telling
Beckner to let her out and to take her back to the motel, reports
But they continued to Beckner's home.
When they arrived,
Davis ran out of the home and argued with Tuzzolino, who was
inside the truck, detectives said in reports.
That's when Davis
Davis, who has six children, told detectives she never
meant to shoot Tuzzolino.
She told investigators she wanted to
scare Beckner and Tuzzolino, but the gun went off and a bullet
struck Tuzzolino in the neck.
That account was countered by nine
witnesses, who all said they saw Davis come out of the home and
immediately shoot Tuzzolino, Judd said.
"I almost feel sorry for
her but there's no excuse for murder," Judd said. "She should
never have left that house."
Tuzzolino's death has been
devastating for her boyfriend, Rudolph Vokojevich.
He knew she
had her share of legal and drug problems. But Tuzzolino was trying
to change her life for herself and her three children, Vokojevich
"She was working to get herself straight. She was doing
Vokojevich knew that she had been sexually involved with
Beckner the morning she was killed. It wasn't something he was
happy about, but Vokojevich said Beckner helped them out while he
was disabled from two recent strokes.
"It's a real tragedy," he
said Tuesday. "When no one was there, she was there (for me)."
Vokojevich, who had dated her for nearly a year, described
Tuzzolino as a caring woman who loved her children, but who could
be very outspoken.
That sometimes got her in trouble.
1997, Tuzzolino had compiled a lengthy record of criminal
convictions. Some of the most serious offenses included felony
battery, battery on a law enforcement officer and possession of
methamphetamine, heroin, diazepam and cocaine, according to court
Beckner also has a lengthy criminal history with
convictions for incest, domestic violence, trafficking
amphetamine, possession of methamphetamine and aggravated fleeing
to elude law enforcement, according to court records.
Love-triangle murder: Woman fatally shot boyfriend's lover
in neck, Polk officials say
By Kevin P. Connolly, Orlando
August 11, 2010
A 35-year-old Lakeland woman is accused
of fatally shooting another woman in the neck after the victim had
sex with the woman's long-time boyfriend at a Polk County motel,
officials said today.
Jamie Davis was charged with second-degree
murder in the shooting death of 32-year-old Christina Tuzzolino
early Sunday, the Polk County Sheriff's Office said.
long-time boyfriend, 43-year-old Danny Beckner, faces numerous
charges, including accessory after-the-fact to second-degree
murder. Beckner and Davis have been together for 18 years.
Beckner and Tuzzolino met for sex at about 3 a.m. Sunday morning
at the Relax Inn on Lakeland Hills Boulevard.
At some point,
Davis called Beckner on his cell phone and asked him where he was
and what he was doing. They got into an argument. Then Beckner
left with Tozzolino to go to home he and Davis share on Sea Oats
Circle Drive in Lakeland.
"While in route, Davis called again;
Tozzolino took the phone & Davis and Tozzolino got into a verbal
argument, making mutual threats to each other,'' officials said in
"Also while in route, Tuzzolino called her boyfriend
(Rudolph Vokojevich of 63 Pritchard Street, Lakeland) leaving a
conversation on Vokojevich's cell phone voice mail,'' the report
said. "On that recording, Tuzzolino can be heard asking Beckner to
let her out and take her back to the motel."
Davis had a gun in
her hand when Beckner and Tuzzolino drove up to the house on Sea
Oats Circle Drive. The women got into an argument and Davis shot
Tuzzolino at close range in the neck, officials say.
was on her knees in the car when she was shot," a report said.
Davis, who called 911 at 7:55 a.m., initially told authorities
Tuzzolino had a knife to Becker's throat, Tuzzolino threatened to
have someone hurt Davis' children and there was a "mutual physical
altercation" before the gun went off.
No knife was ever found
and Davis later admitted Tuzzolino never had one.
Davis said she
was just "mad, sad, and hurt" because Beckner had sex with
Tuzzolino, the report says.
Beckner still insists he was held at
knifepoint, even though Tuzzolino can be heard on her boyfriend's
voice mail asking Beckner to take her home, the report says.
Beckner also was charged with resisting an officer without
violence, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug
paraphernalia, maintaining a dwelling for drug use and possession
of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon.
Ledger is reporting that Davis is being held at the Polk County
Jail without bail.
The newspaper said a judge revoked Beckner's
bail for the firearm charge and held him without bail on that
charge. The bail for Beckner's other charges was set at $62,000,
the Lakeland Ledger said.