Former Facebook Live host has until Monday to decide whether to testify in his own murder trial

Prosecution rests its case, defense attorney for William ‘Polo’ Edwards moves unsuccessfully for directed verdict of ‘not guilty’
Published: Aug. 25, 2023 at 8:39 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Former Facebook Live host William “Polo” Edwards could have one more chance to sway public opinion - or at least a jury of his peers - if he decides to testify in his own murder trial, but he has until his defense counsel rests to decide.

When Hinds County Circuit Judge Faye Peterson asked him Friday, he was still mulling it over with his defense counsel.

“Your Honor, I’m still consulting with them,” Williams said. “I haven’t decided yet.”

After prosecutors rested their case Friday morning, Edwards’ attorney Tom Fortner tried unsuccessfully to get a directed verdict of ‘not guilty’ - which bypasses the jury - claiming the state failed to establish the elements of the first-degree murder charge he faces.

The last two witnesses called by the state in the murder trial established that 45-year-old Robert Davis was shot nine times from various angles and gave the possibility to the jury for the first time that more than one gun might have been used in the shooting.

“There’s 38-caliber class which encompasses everything that has the same diameter and or falls in the same weight category,” said Melissa DeBerry with the Mississippi Forensics Lab. “So you have 38-caliber, .357, 9-millimeter, .380. With this one based on weight, I couldn’t just say or tell you if it was a 9-millimeter, only that it fell in that category.”

“And can a 9-millimeter firearm shoot a 38-caliber bullet?” Assistant District Attorney Gwen Agho said.

DeBerry’s response, “possibly yes,” could have sown a seed of doubt in the jury.

At the beginning of the trial, Fortner laid a foundation in his opening statements, that the state’s star witness, Shadow Robinson, had something to do with Davis’ death.

Fortner has tried to establish both men had a relationship with her, but Robinson testified this week she never liked Davis in that way.

She painted Edwards as jealous of Davis, but Clinton police detective Keith Burnett refuted that Friday, telling Fortner that Robinson herself told him at the crime scene that there was “no beef” between Edwards and Davis.

On cross-examination, Assistant District Attorney Gwen Agho asked Burnett a rapid-fire series of questions...including one that takes direct aim at the defense’s strategy.

“Did you ever find anything that said that Shadow Robinson had any animosity towards Bobby Davis?” Agho said.

“No, ma’am,” Burnett said.

“Did you ever find anything that Shadow Robinson, shows that she fired a firearm at Mr. Davis?” Agho said.

“No, ma’am,” Burnett replied.

“But you all did consider her a suspect?” Agho said.

“Correct. Everyone on scene,” Burnett added.

Robinson has not been charged or implicated in Davis’ death.

The defense is expected to wrap up on Monday.

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