Nearly 18 months after Sylvester Davis Jr., was convicted of killing his girlfriend Yamisha Thomas of Columbus, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals upheld his October 2013 conviction in Russell County Circuit Court, Attorney General Luther Strange said in a news release on Wednesday.
Davis, 32, was sentenced as a habitual offender to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole in the death of Thomas. The Appeals Court decision was issued on Friday.
Court testimony shows that Davis had been with Thomas on April 23, 2011, the day before she was reported missing. Davis first told Thomas’ mother that he too had been looking for the 30-year-old woman, but he later changed his story.
During an investigation, police recovered Thomas’ abandoned 2006 Chevy Avalanche in Columbus and later noted that Davis had a mark on his face as though he had been in a struggle.
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A break in the search for Thomas came when Alabama Bureau of Investigation agents were questioning jail inmate Jerry Wayne Foster, who worked for Davis at a detail shop in Phenix City. 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 red Avalanche to a hospital in Columbus.
Davis took Foster to Thomas’ body and sought help to conceal it but he refused. As he walked away, Foster spotted what appeared to be a body wrapped in a sheet. It had feet exposed with toenails painted.
Foster returned to Tuskegee, Ala., where he was to face unrelated felony charges on outstanding warrants. While in the Macon County Jail, he told the ABI agents about a body in Phenix City and said he could lead them to the remains. Thomas’ body was found in a shallow grave on May 23, 2011, in a wooded lot off Third Street South in Phenix City. Her body was beneath a mattress lying on the ground.
The gruesome murder of Thomas was recently featured on TV One network in “Fatal Attraction.” The true-crime show included interviews with people who knew the victim, evidence from the case and re-enactments.