Federal judge: Deyanna Davis can be released from jail

Deyanna Davis
Note: We have modified this story to more accurately reflect that it is the prosecution's claim that Semaj Pigram fired the gun in the SUV. Attorneys are arguing about who fired the gun.

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) – A federal judge has allowed Deyanna Davis to be released from jail as her legal battles continue following a June 1 incident on Bailey Avenue in Buffalo.

Davis, 31, allegedly rammed an SUV through a police blockade during a night of rioting, seriously injuring New York State Police Trooper Ronald Ensminger. Prior to the incident, prosecutors believe ten gunshots were fired into the air from inside of her SUV by Semaj Pigram, though there is still questions about who, specifically, fired teh shots. 

Prosecutors argued that Davis posed a danger to the public given her criminal history and because she continued to drive even though she knew there was a gun in the car. However, they were also questioned by the judge about whether or not Davis knew about the gun before it was fired and whether Davis’s criminal history is relevant given they occurred several years ago.

Deyanna Davis's federal court appearance is moments away. Documents filed by prosecutors on Monday explain why they say she should remain in jail. She's been charged with aggravated assault on police officers and attempted murder, plus weapons charges in federal court. pic.twitter.com/URoqSdSES6

— Mike Baggerman (@MikeBaggerman) July 7, 2020

"I'm glad the judge could see what we saw," defense attorney Samuel Davis said. "There are multiple layers to what happened and multiple dynamics at play. We don't have all the intel to make an accurate assessment at this time. I don't think anyone does."

Davis, Pigram, and Walter Stewart, were all in the SUV that night and were not among the people at the protest in Bailey Avenue. They were attending a funeral reception. One theory is that Davis panicked after the gun was fired and because police shot tear gas in crowd control of the protesters. After the SUV hit the officers, it turned onto Connelly Street and continued for most of the block before Pigram ran from the scene. Stewart and Davis both stayed by the car.

The judge said that Davis must be confined to her home as she awaits future legal proceedings. This will include her needing to wear an ankle monitoring device. Because she had drugs in her system, Davis will not be allowed to drive a vehicle unless she receives permission from her probation officer. She will also have to undergo drug testing and mental health testing.

"Keep an open mind," her attorney added. "This is something that could have happened to any one of us."

The US Attorney's Office declined comment.