Suspect in beating death was charged with attempted murder at age 15

Posted at 6:57 PM, Jul 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-26 18:57:19-04

DETROIT (WXYZ)  — When he was just 14-years-old, Lawrence Davis was charged with Assault and Battery after he was accused of hitting a Detroit Public Schools officer in the face with a closed fist.

A year later, after his mother died, Davis was charged with Assault with Intent to Murder for shooting someone.

"Lawrence went to jail for something that he didn't do," said his aunt who spoke to 7 Action News.

But juvenile court records show Lawrence Davis took a plea in the 2011 shooting case to Assault with Intent to do Great Bodily Harm and Weapons Felony Firearm.

His aunt said he did serve time in a mental healthy facility as well as a regular lockup for juvenile offenders.

But now, at the age of 23, Davis is charged with Open Murder in the beating death of 24-year-old Tyler Wingate.

Police said the two men were involved in a traffic crash early Monday morning near Livernois and Davison, and after the men exited their vehicles, Davis allegedly began hitting and kicking Wingate. Wingate died from blunt force trauma to the head and neck.

"First of all, I want to give condolence to the family. And to let you guys know that he didn't mean this," said Davis's aunt on the condition that we not show her face or use her name. She said she fears someone may try to retaliate for her nephew's alleged crime.

She said she wants people to know that Davis's problems stem from mental health issues that began to deteriorate after his mother died in 2010. She provided paperwork from the Juvenile Assessment Center in 2011 where Davis was referred because he was reportedly having hallucinations.

She said, because of his mental health issues, Davis is unable to work and collecting social security.

The records indicate Davis has a psychotic disorder and was abusing marijuana and alcohol at the age of 15.

Davis's aunt said she's hoping he turns himself in to police.

"Lawrence, I love you. We all love you. We all know it was a mistake. All we need you to do is just turn yourself in because we don't want nothing dangerous to happen to you."

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Lawrence Davis is urged to call DPD at 313-596-2260.