Man pleads guilty in case connected to summer homicide in Columbia

Higgins was not charged with murder

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Willie Higgins, who was arrested after a 20-year-old was shot and killed in July, pleaded guilty Monday to tampering with evidence and unlawful possession of a firearm. No one has been charged with murder of any degree or manslaughter in the case.

Damien Davis, the victim of the summer shooting on Quail Drive, died at a hospital after being shot. 

David Wallis, Higgins' attorney, told ABC 17 News that Higgins entered a plea deal with county prosecutors. As part of that deal, Wallis expects Higgins to be sentenced to five years of probation, but could serve 11 years in jail if he violates it. 

The plea comes as the Columbia city manager is scheduled to present a "Crime Reduction Strategy Report" to the City Council, according to Monday's agenda. Davis' death is listed in the report as one of the nine homicides that occurred in 2017.

The report says there have been no other arrests made in the case "due to lack of witness cooperation."

Five of the nine homicide investigations listed in the report have not resulted in murder charges. Four cases say a lack of "witness cooperation" has stalled the investigations to some degree.

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