The Journal Gazette
Saturday, January 04, 2020 1:00 am

70 years given for 2016 slaying

Victim's mother surprised by killer's apology

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

Lynsee Davis vividly remembers the tumult that surrounded her brother's death three years ago. 

“'There's been a shooting. Codi is gone,'” Davis said family members told her. “I will never forget those words as long as I live.” 

Codi McCann, 22, was found slumped in the passenger seat of a parked Pontiac Grand Am on Dec. 6, 2016, outside State Bar and Grill on East State Boulevard. Prosecutors said the killing was the tragic result of a “drug rip” – a robbery over marijuana – orchestrated by a man McCann and a friend had gone to the bar to meet. 

Davis was among three family members – his mother and his brother also testified – who spoke Friday in Allen Superior Court at a sentencing hearing for the man convicted of murdering McCann. 

Quentin Stewart, 29, apologized to Stacey Davis, McCann's mother, before a judge ordered him to spend 70 years in prison.  

Stacey Davis said after the hearing she was shocked to hear the apology. 

“We're going to have to start working on forgiveness,” she said. 

McCann went to the bar about 10 p.m. with Zachary Bailey because McCann had a gun and Bailey was uneasy about meeting Dorrion Jefferson, also known as “City,” according to court documents. Bailey and Jefferson had a drink inside while McCann stayed in the car. 

Stewart's girlfriend dropped him off nearby before McCann was found dead, investigators said.  

Prosecutors called the slaying a setup coordinated by Jefferson – who is serving a 17-year federal prison sentence in an unrelated case – to steal a pound of marijuana. 

The path to Stewart's arrest, conviction and sentencing was long and winding and included months of investigation and two trials. 

Bailey told police after the shooting he and McCann went to the bar to buy marijuana. He later told detectives they were there to sell the drug, which was inside a backpack at McCann's feet inside the car. The marijuana was never found.

Stewart was charged in 2018, after police said they found his DNA on a .45-caliber handgun tied to the shooting. A September trial ended in a hung jury, and a new set of jurors convicted him in December of murder and a sentencing enhancement for using a gun to commit the crime. 

He and defense attorney Aaron Stoll argued there was no setup. Stewart was at the bar to talk to Jefferson about drugs, they said. 

Stewart, who was also shot, said he fired only after McCann drew his gun. 

In a rambling statement at the sentencing hearing, Stewart said he isn't a murderer and will appeal. 

“I don't have the hate that they have for me,” he said, referring to McCann's family. “God is the only one who can pass judgment on me.”

Stacey Davis said each day is overshadowed by the killing of her son. She said she will move on and work to help victims of crimes and their families through JAVA, the victim advocacy group she founded. 

“It's been a long road to this day,” she said. “This outcome is bittersweet. It does not bring Codi back.”

This story has been corrected.

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