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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Two Year Manhunt for “Jelly” Ends Near Myrtle Beach



Norfolk, VA – United States Marshal Robert W. Mathieson announces the capture of Lenard Tyrone Davis, who is better known as “Jelly.” Davis had numerous outstanding felony warrants from Portsmouth, to include: Attempted Malicious Wounding (five counts), and Hit & Run (one count). These warrants stem from an incident when it is alleged that Davis accelerated a vehicle directly towards multiple witnesses in order to flee a crime scene.

In January 2013, employees at Joe’s Tire and Auto in Portsmouth reportedly observed a man at the back of their lot stealing inspection stickers from vehicles. When employees confronted the man, who was identified by at least one witness as Jelly, he quickly got into a van and began driving towards the exit of the lot. Camera footage from the scene shows what happens next: Employees quickly close the front gate as the van is still at the back of the lot. Just as the gate is fully closed, the van quickly accelerates directly towards the front gate and the multiple employees standing nearby. The employees are able to get out of the way just as the van blows by them and then crashes through the front gate, which is located right off of Airline Boulevard. Thousands of dollars in damage are caused to the gate, and what began as merely a suspicious man stealing inspection stickers quickly turned into a much more dangerous situation. The drastic turn of events showed that Jelly was willing to go to great lengths to avoid criminal prosecution, and has no regard for the safety of those who stand in his way.

Portsmouth Police Department investigated the incident, and multiple warrants were issued for Davis’ arrest as he was identified as the suspect. When Davis could not be found locally, the Portsmouth Police Department requested the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force in April, 2014. An extensive investigation was commenced by Deputy Marshals, which initially showed that Davis may have fled to any number of states. Multiple interviews were conducted, and over the course of a very lengthy fugitive investigation, Deputy Marshals learned that Jelly was staying somewhere in South Carolina with a family that has deep ties to Portsmouth. Deputy Marshals were then able to narrow down the investigation to one specific family, who resides in Conway, South Carolina, fifteen miles from the city of Myrtle Beach.

On the morning of March 12th, 2015, the U.S. Marshals in South Carolina went to the address Jelly was believed to be hiding out at, on Shady Moss Court within the city of Conway. Shortly after approaching the residence, Deputy Marshals observed Jelly inside when the front door was opened. Seeing that the house was surrounded by U.S. Marshals and that he had nowhere to run, Davis submitted and was taken into custody without incident, bringing the two year manhunt to an end.

Davis is currently being held at the J. Reuben Long Detention Center in Conway, South Carolina, awaiting extradition to Portsmouth.

The U.S. Marshals-led Fugitive Task Force consists of law enforcement officers from the U.S. Marshals, Chesapeake Sheriff’s Department, Newport News Police Department, Portsmouth Police Department and Norfolk Police Department. The main objective of the task force is to seek out and arrest violent offenders with outstanding federal and state warrants.

The U.S. Marshals Service, America’s oldest federal law enforcement agency, arrested more than 36,050 federal fugitives, 74,000 state and local fugitives and 11,800 sex offenders in 2013. Our investigative network and capabilities allow for the unique ability to track and apprehend any fugitive who attempts to evade police capture, anywhere in the country. For more information on the U.S. Marshals, please visit our website.

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