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Richmond man who asked for help pleads not guilty to murder

Devrick Gail is charged with a January 2018 murder.
Posted at 1:32 PM, Feb 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-11 13:32:23-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- In a Richmond courtroom, Devrick Raquan Gail pleaded not guilty to the January 2018 murder of Davon Daniels.

Daniels' family members who appeared in court Tuesday morning called their loved one "sweet" and a "great person."

During Tuesday's hearing, several pre-trial motions were sorted out ahead of jury selection.

One of the motions discussed regarded evidence from the 911 call made on January 2 at 11:22 a.m..

The Commonwealth said their audio engineer boosted the volume of that call to better hear Daniels' voice when he allegedly identified the person who shot him to a witness.

The defense argued that presented an unfair bias because the portion of that recording was altered in favor of the Commonwealth.

The judge ruled in favor of the Commonwealth, comparing the raising of the volume on a recording to zooming into a photo for clarity.

Defense attorney Christopher Bradshaw also indicated that the murder weapon was never recovered.

However, the Defense and Commonwealth both indicated that the firearm believed to be used in the shooting was the same gun used in an unsolved June 2014 shooting. Gail was not in Virginia at the time of the June 2014 shooting, according to his lawyers.

In a previous Crime Insider investigation, Jon Burkett uncovered Gail has a lengthy criminal history, and had been released from federal prison a few months before the fatal 2018 shooting.

Burkett found that about three years prior to his release, Gail sent a handwritten letter to a Richmond judge, calling himself a threat to society and requesting a transfer from prison to an in-patient mental health facility.

Gail wrote that without psychiatric treatment he worried he might hurt someone after his release.

Two months later Gail received a response from the judge saying he no longer had the authority to alter or amend his sentence.

Gail was eventually released in June 2017.