Local News

NCSU Athlete Convicted of 2 Misdemeanors in Connection with Fellow Student's Death

Posted December 2, 1999

— It has been just more than a year since an N.C. State student died during a struggle over a gun. Several athletes were charged in connection with the shooting. On Friday, a football player involved in the incident heard his punishment.

The case surrounding the death of Neil Davis is nearly over. Up until today, four defendants had pleaded guilty to misdemeanors; a jury convicted a fifth.

On Friday, another defendant met a similar fate.

N.C. State football player Willie Wright was accused of breaking and entering, assault, and stealing Neil Davis' gun a year ago.

Prosecutors say Wright and six others barged into Davis' apartment after he allegedly fired shots in the direction of their party.

There was a fight, and Davis was fatally wounded with his own gun. Police say Wright kicked Davis after the shooting and took the gun home with him.

"The question is whether Willie's action, while imperfect and human, was criminal. On that question, there clearly is a reasonable doubt," said defense attorney Roger Smith.

Wright and wrestler Billy Blunt were the only two defendants to go to trial. Blunt was found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter, but guilty of a misdemeanor.

On Friday, a jury convicted Wright of breaking and entering, and simple assault. Both are misdemeanors. Jurors found Wright not guilty for theft of the weapon.

The judge put Wright on probation, ordered him to pay a $500 fine, and 225 hours of community service.

"There's no closure, no none at all," says Dorothy Davis, the victim's mother. "He doesn't have his life, the rest of them have their lives, and unfortunately they're going to have to live with what they did the rest of their life."

All of the defendants were ordered to pay a total of $13,000 in restitution to the Davis family.

The case is closed with one exception. Christopher Green still faces a misdemeanor charge. He has been testifying on behalf of the prosecution. Reporter: Lynda Loveland

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