ST. LOUIS – A jury has acquitted a St. Louis man of murder charges after a fatal shooting at a child’s birthday party. They say Michael Davis, 24, acted in self-defense while shooting William Kennedy, 27 on June 6, 2021.

Davis’s daughter was turning two years old. His family held a party in the 3000 block of Mount Pleasant Street. Defense lawyer Charles Barberio told jurors that Davis did not want to attend the party because he feared Kennedy would do something to him. He had threatened Davis with a gun months earlier.

A witness told the court that Kennedy did not provoke Davis before the shooting. He was unarmed and a prosecutor argued that he did not pose a threat.

“These prior threats influenced Michael’s decision and that’s why he had to
use force that day,” stated Barberio.

Davis turned himself in to the police after the shooting, turning over his gun and ammo. He drove to the police station minutes after the shooting.