INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — A grieving widow and heartbroken mother took the stand in a Marion Superior courtroom today to tell Major Davis II what they thought of him at his sentencing for pleading guilty to the murder of IMPD Officer Perry Renn in 2014.
“Perry’s heroic actions stopped a murderer but at too high a price,” said Lynn Renn who recalled the 26 years she was married to the slain officer. “His murderer should soon be forgotten.”
Davis will have plenty of time to fulfill Lynn Renn’s wish as he was handed a term of life without parole by Judge Mark Rothenberg, who called the killing of the policeman “heinous.”
“He was a very good man with a servant’s heart,” Phyllis Renn told Davis who barely listened to the first half of her statement about the death of her son. “He would have died protecting your family, and did.”
Renn and his partner Nicholas Gallico responded to a report of shots fired at a backyard cookout full of women and children on that Fourth of July weekend.
When they arrived, the officers found an intoxicated Davis in a northeast side alley, armed with an AK-47, his girlfriend and the mother of his own children standing in the way.
When Renn hesitated so as not to endanger the woman, Davis opened fire, killing the officer before falling wounded to the ground.
So severe were Davis’ injuries that at first responding officers thought he was dead.
Thursday, Davis’ attorney, Ray Casanova, told the court that Davis suffers nerve damage and pain on his left side. He receives a daily dose of painkillers in prison and wears an orthopedic shoe.
Davis also receives 10 milligrams of Zyprexa, an anti-psychotic medication, daily which may explain the defendant’s decision to accept a plea agreement during an otherwise unremarkable competency hearing that was scheduled for last Friday.
He had been facing the death penalty.
Davis’ family filled a front row of seats in the courtroom as officers spilled out into the hallway, unable to watch the proceedings, which were monitored by a dozen Marion County sheriff’s deputies.
Judge Rothenberg had warned the courtroom against any outbursts before Davis was led in, clad in an orange jail jumpsuit and shackled at the wrists and ankles.
Davis remained stoic and did not offer comment when asked by the judge if he had an explanation or an apology to offer. Seated at the defense table and surrounded by lawmen, Davis cast his eyes downward as Renn’s wife read her statement.
Lynn Renn recalled her husband had been raised by a single parent, as was Davis after his father died while the son was a teenager.
The Davis family later blamed his descent into drugs and crime on his father’s death during an IPD neighborhood disturbance call.
“None of us will ever get a reprieve,” said Lynn Renn, referring to the “brothers and sisters in blue” who filled the courtroom.
Phyllis Renn called Davis’ actions “evil” and said, “I forgive you and will not allow you to steal any more of my joy.”
The hearing concluded without incident as Davis was led away to face death, natural or otherwise, behind bars.
After the killer’s family filed out, IMPD Chief Bryan Roach addressed the dozens of officers outside the courtroom.
“This doesn’t fix it but it should give you some sense of justice was served,” said Roach. “These are hard times. Hopefully we won’t have to go through that again.”
In the aftermath of the killing, a member of Davis’ family blamed Renn for his own death, claiming the patrolman “should have stayed in his car.”
“We will continue to get out of our cars,” Roach told his officers.
Davis argued that Renn was killed by a bullet from Gallico’s gun.
“Perry died protecting some of the very people in this room and he also protected some of these officers and all of our community,” said FOP Lodge #86 President Rick Snyder. “If you could take that and if everybody could reflect upon that for a moment I think it just reminds us all of what we are here to do.”