Three weeks after he was convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend Yamisha Thomas and burying her in a shallow grave in Phenix City, Sylvester Davis Jr. was sentenced to life without parole Friday in Russell County Circuit Court.
Davis, 31, was sentenced during a 9 a.m. hearing before Circuit Court Judge Albert Johnson. Walter Gray III, Davis’ attorney, will appeal the decision.
A jury took less than an hour to deliberate on Oct. 25, before finding Davis guilty in the death of Thomas, 29.
Prosecutor Max Smith told the jury that Davis was the last person seen with Thomas on April 22, 2011, the day before she was reported missing. Thomas and Davis were together when she received a call from her new boyfriend, sending Davis into a jealous rage.
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During the two years the couple were together, Thomas endured abuse from harassing phone calls, preventing her from leaving her driveway, striking her with a pistol at a Columbus’ Warm Springs Road motel, taking her cell phone and other incidents.
Thomas’ body was found in a shallow grave on May 23, 2011, in a wooded lot off Third Street South in Phenix City.
A key witness for the prosecution was Jerry Wayne Foster, who worked for Davis at a detail shop. Foster told authorities that Davis picked him up on the evening of April 23, went to the Summerplace Drive rental home where the couple once stayed and drove her 2006 red Chevy Avalanche to Columbus where it was found near the hospital. Davis took Foster to Thomas’ body and sought help to conceal it but he refused.
Foster left the city and returned to Tuskegee, Ala., where he was to face unrelated felony charges on outstanding warrants. While in the Macon County Jail, Foster told some Alabama Bureau of Investigation agents about a body in Phenix City and said he could lead them to the remains.