Johnson guilty in officer’s killing

A jury found Kimberly resident Bart Johnson guilty May 12 of murdering Pelham police officer Philip Davis. (File)

By BRAD GASKINS / Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – Jurors deliberated for about two hours before finding Kimberly resident Bart Wayne Johnson guilty of killing Pelham police officer Philip Davis.

After the verdict was announced, the court moved immediately into the sentencing phase. Johnson was found guilty of two counts of capital murder, one for killing an on-duty police officer and another for causing death by shooting from an occupied vehicle.

Johnson killed Davis during a routine traffic stop on Interstate 65 in Pelham on Dec. 3, 2009. He now faces either life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death penalty.

After the verdict was announced, the jury began hearing victim impact testimony before deliberating whether or not to recommend the death penalty to Circuit Court Judge Al Crowson.

During the state’s victim impact statement segment, Davis’ wife, Paula, and Pelham police Lt. Pete Folmar shared their memories of Philip Davis’ death.

“How do you explain to your children that their dad isn’t coming home?” Paula Davis asked the jury. “My world came crashing down. All I could think of was Philip wasn’t coming home.”

“Philip’s death was crushing,” Folmar said. “It became very difficult for all of us to come to work and do it well and enjoy our jobs.”