Man charged in Colorado Springs shooting claims self-defense, will face trial for 12 charges

  • In US
  • 2022-11-29 04:57:00Z
  • By The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

Nov. 28-The man charged in 37-year-old Glenn Fruster's shooting death outside of a Colorado Springs nightclub earlier this year claims he acted in self-defense.

Carnel Davis, 41, is facing 12 charges including first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and menacing.

During a preliminary hearing Monday, the prosecution attempted to outline how Davis not only shot and killed Fruster, but also attempted to kill his former girlfriend and one of her friends right before fatally shooting Fruster.

Colorado Springs police Detective Matthew Kerr testified that the Aug. 19 incident began when Davis' ex-girlfriend and two of her friends arrived at the New Havana Grill in east Colorado Springs.

Kerr, who spoke with Davis' ex-girlfriend after the incident, said the group of girls decided to go to the New Havana Grill about 15 minutes before the shooting because Davis told them he would buy them drinks.

When the trio of girls arrived at the club, Kerr testified that Davis confronted his ex-girlfriend about her seeing other men, stole her phone and got "angry and upset" about her receiving an explicit image from a man.

Kerr said Davis then went to the parking lot, and his ex-girlfriend and her friends followed in an attempt to get her phone back.

Surveillance video from the New Havana Grill played in court showed the group of girls walking to the parking lot where a visible altercation begins between the group of people.

Kerr testified that all three girls told police that during the incident Davis punched his ex-girlfriend in the side of the face, brandished a weapon and attempted to fire two shots: one at his ex-girlfriend and one at her friend who had accompanied her to the parking lot.

The friend of Davis' ex-girlfriend told police the gun appeared to jam when Davis attempted to fire, so no shots were actually discharged. Kerr testified that these claims are backed up by evidence of two live bullets being found in the parking lot.

The prosecution added that this wasn't the first time he had assaulted his ex-girlfriend. Earlier this year Davis pleaded guilty to felony menacing, which Kerr testified stemmed from an incident between him and his ex-girlfriend.

Additionally, the prosecution showed a four-second video where Davis can be seen shoving his ex-girlfriend onto a bed, pointing a handgun at her head and yelling, "Don't (expletive) touch me."

Following the attempted shooting, Kerr said the girls fled to the other side of the parking lot before hearing a series of gunshots near the front of the building.

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In another surveillance video shown to the court, Fruster can be seen walking in front of a car Davis had entered, and as soon as Fruster walks past the front of the car a series of bright lights - which Kerr testified he believed to be gunshots - can be seen from the passenger side of the car.

Five bullet casings were found at the scene, Detective Ed Crowfoot said, but Fruster was shot only once.

While prosecuting attorney James Bentley argued this showed clear intent to charge Davis with first-degree murder, Davis' defense attorney Adam Steigerwald argued that his client acted in self-defense.

Davis surrendered to police a few days after the shooting, and according to Kerr, he told detectives he chose to shoot Fruster because he "feared for his life," and that the gun he used in the shooting wasn't his, but one that was dropped by a man involved in the initial argument outside the club and picked up by Davis.

Steigerwald claimed that there was significant evidence to back these claims up, primarily that Fruster can be seen in the surveillance video returning to his car before walking back toward the club and Davis' location.

Steigerwald implied that Fruster went to his car to acquire a firearm, stating he couldn't have had it before as he had been patted down several times to enter the club over the course of the evening, and that a fully loaded handgun was found in Fruster's pocket following the shooting.

Crowfoot testified that a handgun was found in Fruster's pocket among his other belongings.

Bentley argued that Fruster did not approach the vehicle in a threatening manner, despite Davis claiming Fruster was "running" toward the car prior to the shooting, and that the bullet wound suffered by Fruster suggests he was shot while lying on the ground.

The prosecution never specified if the handgun used in the shooting was owned by Davis, or a third-party.

Detective Ryan Livecchi testified that he was present during the coroner's autopsy of Fruster, and that the coroner concluded the gunshot suffered by Fruster likely came while he was lying down, or in a similar position.

Judge Diana May ruled that the bullet casings and video surveillance were more than sufficient evidence to have all 12 charges bound over for trial, and to continue to hold Davis in El Paso County jail without the possibility of bond.

In a preliminary hearing, a judge is required to view all evidence and testimony presented in the light most favorable to the prosecution to determine if charges can be bound over for a trial.

Kerr said Davis had already served years in a Texas prison for various crimes, including manslaughter, which he was convicted of in 2008.

Davis will next appear in court on Jan. 6 for an arraignment, where he will have the opportunity to enter a plea on all of the charges.


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