View Full Version : Life Sentence for BLACK S.F. Man Convicted in ‘Cold Hit’ Murder Case

08-19-2007, 01:37 PM
Closing arguments in 1985 Black-on-White rape-murder trial in San Francisco (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/08/17/BALURK067.DTL)
John Davis

Barbara Martz

Jurors heard closing arguments Thursday in a 22-year-old San Francisco murder case in which the only evidence against the defendant was DNA he allegedly left behind during the rape of the 28-year-old victim.

Prosecutor Claudia Phillips said the odds that someone other than the defendant, John Davis, committed the Dec. 4, 1985, burglary, rape and fatal stabbing of Barbara Martz were in the quadrillions-to-1 and quintillions-to-1, based on the rarity of his DNA pattern. A quadrillion is a 1 followed by 15 zeroes; a quintillion is a 1 followed by 18 zeroes. "Modern science has finally caught up with Mr. Davis," Phillips told the jury in San Francisco Superior Court.

"Modern science tells you who raped and murdered Barbara Martz." But Davis' defense attorney challenged the reliability of the DNA evidence while at the same time suggesting several theories, including that Martz may have had consensual sex with Davis sometime before the slaying and that someone else committed the killing. Davis told police, however, that he did not know Martz and had never been in her home. He told investigators, "I don't remember raping nobody," authorities said.

01-29-2016, 06:59 AM

Guilty Verdict in S.F. Retrial of 1985 ‘Cold Hit’ Murder Case
January 28, 2016
Updated, 7:55 p.m.

A San Francisco Superior Court jury has returned a verdict of guilty in a 30-year-old murder case in which the suspect was identified by a cold hit in a DNA database.

The jury of 10 men and two women convicted John Davis for the Dec. 4, 1985, murder of photographer Barbara Martz, who was robbed, raped and slashed and stabbed to death in her home near 25th and Texas streets on Potrero Hill. Thursday’s conviction on first-degree murder with special circumstances for a homicide committed during the course of rape and burglary carries a sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole.

“I hope this verdict finally puts an end to this case,” David Martz of Manchester, Massachusetts, the victim’s brother, said via text. “My family and Barbara’s friends have suffered long enough.”

02-17-2016, 03:21 PM

Life Sentence for S.F. Man Convicted in ‘Cold Hit’ Murder Case
February 16, 2016

A San Francisco Superior Court judge has brought to a close, at least for now, a murder case that remained a mystery for 17 years and has taken 13 more to make its way through the courts.

Judge Jeffrey Ross on Tuesday sentenced John Davis, 48, to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the Dec. 4, 1985, murder of Barbara Martz in her Potrero Hill home