A former nurse supervisor was sentenced to 10 years in prison Thursday for trying to hire undercover police officers to murder her ex-husband.
Fathia Davis will remain under court supervision for two years after her release. U.S. District Judge Robert Conrad also ordered Davis to receive psychological treatment.
Her attorney, John Snyder of Charlotte, told the Observer that he plans to appeal Davis’ conviction and sentence to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, adding, “We believe there was important evidence that we were not allowed to present at trial.”
Davis was convicted in June after the jury deliberated for more than three hours.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
According to court testimony, Davis approached a nail salon worker a year ago and repeatedly asked him about killing her ex-husband, Joseph Davis.
“I said, ‘I don’t do that, but if you want, I can ask somebody for you,’ ” Huy Nguyen testified at her trial.
Nguyen alerted a police officer. On Feb. 15, Nguyen introduced Davis to two undercover detectives in the parking lot of the salon. According to court documents, Davis agreed during this meeting “to pay the detectives a total of $4,000 to shoot her ex-husband Joseph Davis in the head.”
Another witness, Eileen Olsen, took care of Davis’ daughter as a nanny for three years. Olsen testified that, in 2009, she learned Davis “frequently” drugged her husband, to whom Davis was still married, by putting the sleep medication Ambien in his food.
In October 2009, Olsen said Davis put Ambien in her husband’s spaghetti before he drove to his nighttime job. Davis hoped he would fall asleep while driving and crash his car on the highway, Olsen said.
The plan failed because Davis mistimed the drug, Olsen said in her testimony, although Joseph Davis was hospitalized.
“Fathia Davis was willing to pay someone to take the life of another human being, and even though she had plenty of chances to change her mind, she never did,” U.S. Attorney Jill Rose said in a statement after the sentencing. “In this case, law enforcement was able to prevent the tragic loss of human life.”
In an interview after the sentencing, Snyder said the allegations against his client arose from a bitter four-year custody fight over the couple’s daughter and a mother’s concern for her child’s safety.
“She truly believed her daughter was in physical danger, that her ex-husband had physically harmed the child,” he said. “And then she had a lapse in judgment.”