Local Pleads Guilty In 2005 Slaying
By Howard Schwach
With additional reporting by Elio Velez
An Edgemere man pled guilty in Queens Supreme Court on Wednesday to the 2005 shooting death of a 32-year-old father of three who he thought was having a liaison with his girlfriend.
Court sources say that Anthony Davis, 39, pled guilty to murder in the second degree in the January 2005 murder of Eric Dunning, who was shot several times in the head and torso in the stairwell of 40-20 Beach Channel Drive in the Edgemere Houses.
According to a report of the shooting in The Wave, January 24, 2005, Dunning, mortally wounded, crept into the building's lobby and was able to tell responding police officers the name of the man who shot him.
He was transported to Mary Immaculate Hospital, where he died about three hours later as a result of his wounds.
101 Precinct detectives arrested Davis, who lived in the same building, a few hours later.
Davis had been released from prison in June of 2004 after serving fifteen years for firing wildly inside a Queens bodega in 1988, striking and wounding three people.
Reports in the New York Post at the time said that Davis saw Dunning leaving his unidentified girlfriend's apartment in the building and mistakenly believed that Dunning was dating the woman.
Police said that the woman was "a friend who he was visiting" and it was not believed that he had a romantic involvement with her.
In February 2005, Davis, who also uses several aliases including Anthony Griffith and Jerry Anthony Davis, was charged with criminal possession of a weapon and murder in the second degree.
At the time, the victim's father, Deacon Ira Stewart, said, "It wasn't a gang thing, or a project against project thing. My son's not a gang person."
This week, Stewart, who is the deacon at St. John's Baptist Church, told The Wave that he is satisfied with the plea agreement that brought Davis a sentence of fifteen years to life in prison.
"It has been a long two years," Stewart said. "We know that [Davis] will not be a young man when he gets back to the streets."
"We're still trying to put everything behind us," he added, "but we haven't been able to do that as yet because he was our son and he left a lot of loved ones behind."
Davis will be sentenced on February 2.