EVERETT — His music library will be donated to the Washington State Music Teachers Association and a scholarship has been set up in Port Townsend in his honor to help young musicians attend competitions.
Christopher Davis, 32, was an accomplished pianist. He attended Port Angeles and Port Townsend high schools. He had earned a master’s degree in piano performance from the University of Washington. He taught piano lessons and was the music director at a Kirkland church. Davis hoped one day to earn his doctoral degree in music, his parents wrote in a letter to Superior Court Judge Thomas Wynne.
His death brought his parents to their knees, they wrote. It is incomprehensible why someone would harm their generous and caring son.
Davis was killed Sept. 14, 2015. He’d been beaten and strangled inside his Lynnwood townhouse. A jury last week convicted a 23-year-old man of second-degree murder in the slaying. Wynne on Monday sentenced Christopher Garcia Gonzalez to 20 years in prison.
“The murder of Mr. Davis was a particularly brutal murder,” Wynne said.
Davis was beaten before he was strangled with a belt. This wasn’t a killing done from afar, the judge said. “It was up close and personal,” Wynne added.
The judge agreed with prosecutors that Garcia deserved the maximum sentence under the law.
Deputy prosecutor Adam Cornell argued for the 20-year sentence in part because Garcia hasn’t shown any remorse. The defendant gained the victim’s trust and then used Davis’ “affections to take advantage of him,” Cornell said.
Jurors were told that the men met through an online ad that Davis posted to Craigslist. It appeared that they began dating a short time later. Garcia may have moved in with the victim. Davis was killed about 10 days after posting the ad.
Garcia was arrested inside the victim’s car in San Jose, California. He had removed the license plates. Garcia deleted text messages between he and Davis. Jurors also were told that Garcia set up a fan and an air purifier near the victim’s body, likely in an effort to prevent the killing from being discovered.
“The defendant tried to cover up his crimes,” Cornell said.
“He killed an innocent man for reasons still unknown,” the prosecutor added.
Garcia declined to address the court before learning of his sentence. He has denied being responsible for the murder.
Jurors were told that neither his DNA or fingerprints were found at the scene. The defense argued that Lynnwood police failed to follow up on other leads, including investigating at least one other man who responded to the victim’s online ad.
“The state wants him to express remorse for something he says he didn’t do,” Snohomish County public defender Paul Thompson said. “My client maintains his innocence.”
Thompson said Garcia will appeal his conviction.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; email@example.com.