The son of the man accused of killing 20-year-old Donnie Davis testified on Wednesday about the events that unfolded the night of Nov. 10, 2012, when he and his father went to the home at 56 Church St. in Bath.
David Rosier Jr., 45, is charged with murder and possession of a weapon during a crime. Davis was found dead in the Church Street home from a gunshot wound to the chest.
Rosier's son Josh, 22, had just bonded out of the Aiken County detention center that morning for unrelated charges, Josh Rosier told the court on Wednesday. After helping a friend move, he and his father went to a bait and tackle shop to watch a college-football game on TV.
They later went to the home of the father of Rosier's girlfriend at that time, Brittney Cook, he said. Josh Rosier, his brother Calvin, his friend Cody and his father left the home in a vehicle driven by Cook's friend, Autumn.
On the way to the home on Church Street, Rosier said his father gave him a blue box cutter knife “in case I needed it.” Josh Rosier testified they planned to steal drugs from the home and “jump on” Davis and another man, Russell, who owned the home.
After Rosier and his father were let into the home, Rosier said he approached Davis, who was sitting on the couch, and hit him.
“Me and DJ started fighting,” he said. Russell went to the back part of the home to retrieve a .357 revolver, which he brought back to the living room, he said. At that point, David Rosier hit Russell, causing him to drop the gun, he said.
Josh Rosier said he saw his father pick up the gun, and he pulled the box cutter from his pocket and started “cutting” Davis, his right hand on Davis' chest and the other holding the blade.
It wasn't until Josh Rosier heard a gunshot that he stopped cutting Davis, he said. He looked back and saw his father holding the gun.
After running back to the car, Rosier said he then realized he'd been shot in the right hand. He told his father, who responded, “Next time, move out the ... way,” he said.
The group left in the truck and went to a Waffle House near Exit 1 on I-20, Rosier said. They dropped off Calvin and Cody and drove to a gas station across the street. There, Josh Rosier said he gave the knife to his girlfriend Brittney, who gave it to Autumn, who washed it off and threw it in the trash can. They then went to the home of Autumn's father in Augusta.
Rosier said his father, who still had the revolver, sold the gun to a “young black male driving a red Mustang” while at the home. He burned his clothes, which still had Davis' blood on them, he said.
The next day, they left the home in Augusta, with Rosier's father leaving a few hours earlier, Rosier said. He, Cook and Autumn then concocted a story to tell authorities.
“We were gonna put everything on my dad,” he said. He told prosecutor Kevin Molony that they were arrested the next day and he gave an untruthful statement to investigators.
Rosier was originally charged with murder, but the charges were reduced to third-degree assault and battery after he spoke with investigators. He and Cook were arrested in August for accessory after the fact to murder, after which he gave investigators another statement.
“I told them that my dad cut DJ, and then the second time, I told them I did it,” he said.
Public defender Wallis Alves brought up the fact that Cook was “messing around” on him, and she apparently told him she would help him bond out of jail before the murder.
“Your brother and father were mad with Brittney, weren't they? Because she didn't help with the bond and she had said she would help you,” Alves said. “Your father does not like Brittney, does he? In fact, he has said some harsh things about her, even before all this.”
Josh Rosier said he was aware Cook was seeing Davis, but they had never spoken directly about it.
“Did she ever tell you anything regarding anything DJ might be doing to her that she wasn't happy about?” Alves asked, to which Rosier responded yes.
Alves pointed out several discrepancies between the two statements Josh Rosier gave police and asked him how he kept his “lies” straight. During the first interview, Rosier told police the group went to the house to rob the men of drugs, he said.
The court also heard from an investigator with the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division on Wednesday, who testified that blood found on the car seat Rosier said he grabbed while he and his father got back into the vehicle that night belonged to Davis.
The state rested on Wednesday afternoon. Court is expected to resume on Thursday morning.
Teddy Kulmala covers the crime and courts beat for the Aiken Standard and has been with the newspaper since August 2012. He is a native of Williston and majored in communication studies at Clemson University.