The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

October 31, 2011

Gang member sent back to prison

JOPLIN, Mo. — A reputed member of the Joplin Honkies gang has been assessed 17 years behind bars for the brutal assault of another man more than a year ago.

Christopher D. Davenport, 29, was scheduled to go to trial this week in Jasper County Circuit Court on four felony counts involving three crimes committed in 2010 in Joplin. Court records show that Davenport pleaded guilty instead to all four counts last week before Associate Circuit Judge Stephen Carlton in a plea agreement with the Jasper County prosecutor’s office.

Terms of the deal called for Davenport to be sentenced to 17 years and 10 years on convictions for first-degree assault and armed criminal action related to the beating of Phillip Ivy, and to seven years each for first-degree assault on Patrick Arnold and the felonious restraint of Adam Evans.

The judge accepted the plea deal and assessed Davenport the four prison terms, with the sentences to run concurrently.

Joplin police say Davenport is a self-proclaimed member of the Joplin Honkies, which authorities describe as a loosely knit gang of state prison origin.

Davenport committed all three crimes within a two-week period. He was accused of assisting Joren Clay, 42, in the assault on Ivy, 47, on May 3, 2010, at a home on South Connor Avenue.

Clay, who is scheduled to go to trial in the case next week, wanted Ivy out of the apartment they shared because he reportedly believed Ivy had taken advantage of a woman they knew, according to testimony at a preliminary hearing.

Clay told police that Davenport beat Ivy with a wooden baton, although Davenport claimed that Clay was the perpetrator. Three police officers were making their way up a darkened staircase of the apartment house where the alleged assault took place when Clay emerged from an upstairs apartment. He was instructed to go below while the officers proceeded to clear the apartment.

One of the officers testified at the hearing that he heard another man call out “Honkie Honkie” from the apartment above before he saw a man come out of the apartment covered in blood and then duck back inside. He identified the man as Davenport, who police believe escaped out a window and was caught a short time later.

Ivy was found inside the apartment with the septum between his nostrils slit, a little finger cut off, his face swollen and bloodied, and bruises all over his body. A probable-cause affidavit alleged that the assailants also used a pair of pliers to extract some of Ivy’s teeth, although there was no testimony to that effect at the defendants’ preliminary hearing.

The plea deal with Davenport covers a crime that took place just a few hours earlier on May 2, 2010, at Davenport’s apartment on Fourth Street. Evans testified at the hearing last year that Davenport lured him to his place, sat him down in a chair and began beating him because he mistakenly believed Evans had stolen a gun that belonged to Davenport and another defendant, Anthony Cox.

Davenport also pleaded guilty to stabbing Arnold in the arm with a pocketknife on April 23, 2010, in the 900 block of West Fourth Street. A Jasper County sheriff’s deputy witnessed that assault.

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