Criminal Justice

Lawyer pleads not guilty to manslaughter, gets 15 days in jail for unrelated contempt charges


An Arkansas lawyer who hit the headlines last year after the state attorney general publicly admitted the two had an “inappropriate” relationship is back in the news again.

Andrea Davis, 36, has been charged with manslaughter concerning a 2012 death at her Hot Springs home that authorities say was related to a planned drug purchase, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports. During a Friday court hearing, she pleaded not guilty, and in a matter unrelated to the manslaughter case was sentenced to 15 days for contempt of court stemming from her failure to appear for a Garland County court hearing on the day the AG announced their involvement.

AG Dustin McDaniel was a candidate for Arkansas governor but dropped out of the race over the issue of his relationship with Davis.

“I’m really disappointed with having to do this,” Garland County District Judge David Switzer told Davis on Friday as he sentenced her for misdemeanor contempt. “All these years on the bench and you’re the first lawyer I’ve ever had to hold in contempt. I shouldn’t have to be in that position. I find it distasteful for me to be in that position.”

Davis is expected to appeal the contempt sentence.

She and her brother, Matthew Davis, 32, were both charged with manslaughter in the Feb. 29, 2012 shooting of Maxwell Anderson, Arrest affidavits say Anderson was shot by Matthew Davis in “a drug transaction gone bad” that involved a planned purchase by the Davises of $1,200 in methamphetamine, the newspaper reports.

Attorney Bill James, who represents Matthew Davis, said his client has a strong case for self-defense. Attorney Jeff Rosenzweig represents Andrea Davis. He said he expects her to be acquitted.

“The fact is, the evidence clearly supports a self-defense issue and the evidence is also of course that Andi Davis was not the person who fired the shot,” Rosenzweig told the newspaper. “And there’s some I think significant legal question as to whether you can be an accomplice to a negligent act.”

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “Ark. AG Admits ‘Inappropriate’ Relationship with Lawyer; His Office Had a Role in 5 of Her Cases”

ABAJournal.com: “Lawyer held in contempt, fined $100, for missing court hearing on day AG admitted their relationship”

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