Harvey L. Bryant, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Virginia Beach, announced today that Eric Levon Davis Jr., 23 years old, formerly of W. Pembroke Avenue in Hampton, Virginia, was sentenced by Circuit Court Judge H. Thomas Padrick on charges of Involuntary Manslaughter and Use of a Firearm. Davis was found guilty of these charges by a jury on February 1, 2013. The jury recommended a sentence of ten (10) years in prison, out of a 13-year maximum sentence, and today Judge Padrick imposed that 10-year sentence. He further ordered Davis to remain on 12 months of supervision upon his release.
The Commonwealth’s evidence proved that on July 22, 2011, Eric Levon Davis Jr. and two of his friends met at the Virginia Beach oceanfront for a night out. The victim, 22-year-old Cordaro Simpkins, and a group of his friends were out in the same area celebrating a friend’s birthday. Davis and Simpkins did not know each other. As Simpkins and his friends walked to their car just after midnight, one of the men with Davis approached Simpkins’ group and made rude comments. A fist fight broke out between the two groups, although Eric Davis was not involved in the fight. Davis pulled out a handgun and fired multiple shots into the air, then fired one shot into the crowd as he ran away. The last shot struck Cordaro Simpkins in the chest, killing him. Davis and his friends fled the area, but left a cell phone behind, which was later traced back to Davis’ relative.
Detectives with the Virginia Beach Police Department began an investigation and developed Eric Davis as a suspect. During an interview with investigators, Davis admitted shooting into the air and at the crowd. He claimed he was trying to disperse the crowd, and that Cordaro Simpkins was not an intended target.
The case was prosecuted by Associate Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul J. Powers and Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Elizabeth M. Bradley. Please contact Macie Pridgen if additional information is desired.