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David IVY






A.K.A.: "Day Day"
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Domestic violence - Revenge
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: June 8, 2001
Date of arrest: June 27, 2001
Date of birth: January 15, 1972
Victim profile: Lakisha Thomas (his ex-girlfriend)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Memphis, Tennessee, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on March 6, 2003

The Supreme Court of Tennessee

majority opinion dissenting opinion appendix

On the morning of June 6th, a Memphis police officer responded to an assault call at an apartment complex. Upon arriving at the apartment complex, the complainant, Lakisha Thomas, reported that she had been assaulted.

Lakisha informed the officer that her ex-boyfriend, David Ivy, had assaulted her in the area of Park and Airways with a black Uzi type pistol with a long magazine. She told the officer that David Ivy was also known as “Day Day.”

Indeed, Lakisha had “Day Day” tattooed on the right side of her neck. Lakisha advised the officer that Ivy had “said that he wasn’t going back to jail” and “that he would come back and kill her.”

The officer described Lakisha as being visibly upset, both at what had happened earlier in the day and upset with what might occur in the future. Upon a visual examination of the victim, the officer observed that Lakisha “had about a two-inch laceration to the top of her head. She had some bruising just above her left chest above her left breast. And she had a right black eye on the right side of her face.”

The officer photographed the victim’s injuries. Although paramedics were called to the scene, Lakisha refused treatment and stated that “she would seek medical attention via her own means.”

A warrant charging David Ivy with aggravated assault was issued on June 7, 2001. Although the Sheriff’s Department attempted to serve the warrant on June 7, the warrant was not served until June 27, 2001.

Lakisha contacted the Sheriff’s Department on the morning of June 8th and provided the Sheriff’s Department with an alternate address for David Ivy. She indicated that he may be found at “an address on Meda.”

Later that day, Lakisha went to the Citizens Dispute office, completed some paper work about the incident, and was eventually interviewed. Lakisha was then taken to the judicial commissioner to obtain an order of protection. She was also referred to the domestic violence unit of the police department for a warrant for aggravated assault.

The ex parte order of protection was granted. A hearing was scheduled on the matter for June 21, 2001. The ex parte order was never served on the respondent, David Ivy. The order noted that attempts were made on June 15, 19, and 20. The order further noted: “After diligent search and inquiry Ivy is not found in my county. Two days later, on June 8th, the same officer again encountered Lakisha.

However, this time, Lakisha was outside her apartment building in the parking lot and she was pronounced dead. Deborah Kelley, Lakisha’s cousin, testified that Lakisha lived in the Magnolia Place Apartments on Millbranch. She explained that her sister, Jackie Bland, lived in the Millbranch Park apartments.

Ms. Kelley knew David Ivy as Lakisha’s boyfriend. The couple dated for almost a year. At some point, Lakisha attempted to end her relationship with David Ivy. Although Lakisha had moved out of the house they shared, Ms. Kelley remarked that the couple “would always end up talking back together.”

Ms. Kelley stated that Lakisha Thomas eventually moved into the Magnolia Place Apartments off Millbranch. Ms. Kelley related an incident that occurred at her home about a month before Lakisha’s murder, during which Ivy had grabbed Lakisha by her hair. Ms. Kelley told Ivy, “Uh-huh, don’t do that. Let her go. You’ve got to get out of here with that.” Ivy retorted, “I told you about playing with me, bitch.” He then left.

A few days prior to Lakisha’s murder, Ms. Kelley arrived at her sister’s apartment where she found Lakisha, sitting at the kitchen table wearing sunglasses. Lakisha had blood on her shirt. Jackie Bland stated, “Look what Day Day did to Kisha.” Lakisha then removed her sunglasses, revealing a black eye. She remarked that her shoulder was hurting and that “she thinks she had a hole in her head.”

Lakisha explained that David Ivy had “caught her at Mapco . . . and jumped on her, hit her in the head with a pistol.” Ms. Kelley testified that Lakisha was nervous and scared, scared that Ivy was “trying to kill her.” Jackie Bland then contacted the police.

Ms. Kelley later drove Lakisha to Eastwood Hospital on Getwell. Several hours later, Ms. Kelley accompanied Lakisha to 201 Poplar to “swear out a warrant [for Ivy’s] arrest.” On the way to the police station, Lakisha indicated to Ms. Kelley that Ivy was following them. Ms. Kelley pulled the vehicle into an Exxon parking lot and called the police. However, by the time the police arrived, Ivy was gone.

The three then continued to the Shelby County Criminal Justice Center located at 201 Poplar. After leaving 201 Poplar, the three women drove to a liquor store on Poplar Avenue. While inside the liquor store, Ms. Kelley observed Ivy. She requested that someone “[c]all the police.”

In response, two men in the store went to the front door. Ms. Kelley stated that Ivy then walked back around the liquor store building. When Ms. Kelley returned to the vehicle, Lakisha stated, “Girl, he said he going to kill me. He’s been following me all day.” Lakisha added that “He told me if I put the police in his business he was going to f*** me up.” An employee at the liquor store overheard Ivy ask Lakisha if she hated him, that “it wasn’t over,” and that “he was going to get her.” The women then waited for the police to arrive to escort them back to 201 Poplar.

After the incident, the employee observed that Lakisha “was shaking real bad and crying and saying, ‘I know he’s going to kill me. I know he’s going to get me.’”

Another employee of the liquor store confirmed the events occurring at the liquor store. He specifically recalled speaking with Lakisha. He stated that “[s]he was very afraid.” He noticed that she was “bruised pretty badly.” She informed him that she had just filed a charge for assault against “Day Day.” He testified that Lakisha had the name Day Day tattooed on her neck. She stated that “he had beaten her up.” He remembered distinctly Lakisha saying, ‘I’m afraid he’s going to kill me.’”

The surveillance cameras of the liquor store videotaped Ivy outside the liquor store on June 6, 2001.

On the morning of June 8th, 2001, Ms. Kelley, accompanied by Jackie Bland, Lakisha, Andrea and Jackie’s baby, were preparing to leave Jackie Bland’s house. The plan was to drive Lakisha and Ms. Bland to the beauty shop; then Ms. Kelley would take the vehicle to be tuned up because they had planned on leaving and going out of town.

That morning, the police contacted Lakisha, indicating that they could not locate Ivy at the address she had provided. While Ms. Kelley finished getting ready in the house, Lakisha and Andrea had already gotten into the car. Ms. Bland, holding her eight-month-old child, was waiting outside the door for Ms. Kelley.

At this time, Ms. Bland saw somebody run up and open fire into the front passenger side of the vehicle where Lakisha was seated. The assailant was wearing a black hat, sunglasses and had a towel over his mouth. Although the assailant’s face was covered, Ms. Bland testified that the assailant resembled David Ivy in appearance.

Ms. Kelley, still in the residence, heard one shot and Jackie came running in the house, screaming. Then Andrea came in screaming. Jackie said, ‘Call the police. Day Day shot Kisha.” Ms. Kelley then “heard tires . . . like somebody was getting away fast out in the parking lot.” Andrea confirmed that it was Day Day that shot Kisha.

Ms. Hunt related that the assailant pulled the towel from over his face, revealing himself as David Ivy. She also stated that, before firing three shots, David Ivy smiled and remarked, “Oh, bitch, you want me dead, huh?”

After calling 911, Ms. Kelley went out into the parking lot where she found Lakisha slumped over in the car seat . . . "with her arm in a sling. . . .” Ms. Kelley raised Lakisha’s body and “saw the bullet hole. . . .”

Gregory Kelley, Bland and Kelley’s brother, worked as a maintenance supervisor at the Millbranch Apartments. Upon hearing the gunshots, Gregory Kelley ran in that direction. As he approached, he heard people hollering, “somebody just got shot in that car, that green car.” Gregory Kelley recognized the car as belonging to his cousin Lakisha Thomas.

Upon reaching his cousin’s body, he noticed two wounds, one to her chest and one to her side. Gregory Kelley pulled her lifeless body out of the car onto the pavement. He then attempted to apply pressure to the wounds while shouting for someone to call 911. Gregory Kelley never saw the assailant; he just saw a “white car speed up out of the apartments.”

He testified that the car resembled the car owned by David Ivy. Jackie Bland and Andrea Hunt further related instances of conflict in David Ivy and Lakisha Thomas’ relationship. Ms. Bland recalled an incident where she observed David Ivy "pull a plug out of Lakisha’s head.”

She also recalled an incident that occurred about one month prior to Lakisha’s murder. Lakisha called Ms. Bland, telling her that Ivy had broken all the tables in the house; he had kicked the door in; and she was “fixing” to call the police. Ms. Bland also commented that Lakisha had often stated that “she was tired of fighting with him and she was ready to leave Ivy alone but she was scared.”

Ms. Hunt confirmed Ivy’s physical abuse of Lakisha. Ms. Hunt further stated that Lakisha would comment that Ivy “had her on 23 and 1. She could only come out an hour a day. That was to take her kids to school and pick them up from school.”

A Memphis police officer stated that in May 2001 he responded to a disturbance call at 3725 Millbranch. Lakisha Thomas informed the officer that her boyfriend, David Ivy, “had forced his way into her apartment and was moving the belongings out of her apartment.” Lakisha further advised the officer that David Ivy had “stated that he was going to kill her.”

The officer observed that Lakisha Thomas was “nervous and shaking.” She informed the officers at the scene that David Ivy “was stalking her and was constantly making threats to her to harm her and he was upset because she ended their relationship.”

The officer related that Lakisha’s grip on his arm lasted so long and was so firm that she had embedded some fingerprints in his arm. He commented that it was obvious that she was very shaken up and afraid.

The next time the officer saw Lakisha Thomas was on June 8, 2001, after she had been murdered. The officer and his partner were flagged down by a maintenance worker at the Millbranch Apartments. Upon reaching the body, the officer was unable to detect a pulse from the victim’s body. The officer then began interviewing witnesses.

During this time, the officer observed a white vehicle pull out of the complex at a high rate of speed. An investigation of the crime scene revealed the presence of spent casings and bullet fragments as well as several live rounds.

An examination of the casings and bullets led a TBI forensic scientist to conclude that this evidence was consistent with a scenario in which a semi-automatic nine millimeter weapon was fired with some of the bullets passing through a body, some bullets being fired and leaving an empty shell casing, and some bullets not firing but being manually ejected from the weapon.

Ivy was arrested on June 27, 2001, in Tipton County, Tennessee. He was transported back to Memphis.

On May 16, 2002, Ivy escaped from the Shelby County Jail. Ivy was eventually located in San Diego, California. Tommy Westbrooks was Ivy’s parole officer in February 2001. Ivy had been placed on parole in June of 2000, with parole status scheduled to terminate in the year 2020.

Dr. O’Brien Clary Smith, the medical examiner for Shelby County, performed an autopsy on the body of Lakisha Thomas. The postmortem examination of the body revealed the presence of “multiple gunshot wounds,” a total of five wounds of entrance to the right side of the body. “The path of those wounds went . . . from the right side of her body over to the left and had an upward course . . . as they progressed from right to left.”

Exit wounds were located on the left side of the body, one in the front of the left shoulder, two behind the left shoulder, one of the left side of the abdomen and one on the left side. Powder burns were located on the victim’s right upper arm.

He explained that powder burns are small puncture wounds produced in the skin surface when particles of burned and unburned gun powder are projected from the bale of a weapon at a distance close enough for them to have enough energy to actually embed themselves in the skin. And for most handguns this is out to a range of about two feet.

He also noticed “stipple type powder burns on the side of her right arm.” Dr. Smith added that there was also a gunshot wound to the victim’s left arm. Dr. Smith verified that bruising located on the victim’s person would have been consistent with the victim sustaining the “trauma or assault that had occurred on June the 6th.”

Dr. Smith was unable to determine the sequence of the gunshot wounds. Nonetheless, he provided the following description of the gunshot wounds inflicted upon Lakisha Thomas. Gunshot wound A is an exit wound. Gunshot wound B entered the victim’s body on the right lateral chest. The bullet fractured a rib, pierced the right lung, and damaged the right atrium of the heart. This bullet also damaged the pulmonary artery and pierced the left lung before exiting the body beneath the left shoulder.

Gunshot wound C entered at the right side of the chest. This bullet pierced the right lung and the heart; it also bruised the upper lobe of the left lung and fractured the second rib before exiting on the front side of the shoulder (gunshot wound A).

Gunshot wound G entered at the back of the victim’s left upper arm. Dr. Smith described this wound as a re-entrance wound, i.e., one of the bullets that exited her body re-entered due to the position of the victim’s arm.

Gunshot wound H entered the victim’s body at her right upper back. This bullet “hit[] the spine at the 7th thoracic vertebra. . . ” and damaged the spinal cord. This bullet continued to damage the left upper lobe of the lung and fractured the back of the second rib. Next, gunshot wound I entered at the right upper buttock. This bullet bruised the intestines and the pancreas; it produced a grazing wound to the liver, and left kidney; the bullet then fractured the tenth rib. This bullet did not exit; rather, it lodged itself between the skin and the left tenth rib.

The final gunshot wound of entrance is gunshot wound J. This bullet entered on the right upper outer thigh. This bullet damaged the uterus and the fallopian tube. It also “produce[d] two holes in the lower portion of the colon or large bowel” and produced two injuries to the small bowel. The bullet then exited on the left side of the abdomen.

Dr. Smith confirmed that the course of the gunshot wounds through the victim’s body was consistent with the victim “balling up in a fetal like position.”

He further confirmed that the victim was no more than two feet from the weapon when it was discharged. Of the victim’s vital internal organs, the spleen was the only organ not affected by the gunshots. Thus, Dr. Smith concluded that the victim’s death was the result of the multiple gunshot wounds; two bullets striking the victim’s heart would have ended “her life the quickest.”

Ivy did not testify, rather, he presented the testimony of one witness who testified that Ivy was the father of her daughter born on April 10, 2001. She stated that she and Ivy lived together both before and after the birth of their daughter.

The witness explained that she, Lakisha, and Ivy all grew up in the same neighborhood. Lakisha lived near the witness, and their children went to school together. She learned that Ivy was “seeing” Lakisha in October 2000. She stated that there was no indication that Thomas and Ivy were having a difficult time in their relationship. The last time she saw Lakisha was around 3:00 a.m. on June 6, 2001, when she appeared at her residence.

Following the proof in the case, the jury returned with a verdict finding Ivy guilty of first-degree premeditated murder.



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