Houston News & Search
Begin Slideshow 2
Photo: Melissa Phillip, Staff
Larry Davis, a businessman and father from The Woodlands, spent the last 15 months on a strict schedule in prison in the Dominican Republic.
After waking up in a cramped cell, the first thing Davis would do was read the Bible. Then, he would exercise and read some more.
Sometimes, he would try to scrounge up something to eat other than the rice-based diet he was offered.
“You try to look for a little extra food here and there. It occupies your day,” Davis said Friday, shortly after his plane landed at Bush Intercontinental Airport.
Davis was released from prison this week after a judicial panel in the Dominican Republic cleared him on narcotics trafficking charges. He was arrested in March 2016 after a man who leased his boat used it to smuggle almost 1,000 kilograms of cocaine.
Davis was coaxed to come to the Dominican Republic because authorities there said the boat had some inspection problems.
“The tactic is sneaky and underhanded,” said Sean Buckley, his Houston-based attorney.
Buckley, who joined a throng of family and supporters waiting for Davis’ plane to arrive in Houston, said the tactic backfired when judges in the Dominican Republic threw out the case.
“They chastised the prosecution for bringing a big case like this without either presenting any evidence or taking the time to further investigate whether any evidence existed,” Buckley said. “The judges were very pointed in their critique.”
Davis arrived at Bush Airport to thunderous applause from his friends and supporters.
“I just thank God that I’m in the United States of America,” he said, still clearly overwhelmed by his 15-month legal odyssey.
“It’s just amazing. He didn’t look a day older – the same smile, the same beautiful person,” said Stacy Davis, his wife. “I don’t know of anyone who could have come through this and still be the same person.”
His eyes filling with tears, Davis hugged several people who helped him get through the ordeal. They sent him daily devotionals and regularly called to boost his spirits.
“It kept me going. I don’t think I could have made it without those friendships,” he said.
Davis paused when asked about the conditions in his prison.
“It was tough, I can put it that way,” he said.
His lawyer said Davis suffered under conditions he could only describe as “squalid.” Fights routinely break out over food and water, Buckley said, and one of his Davis’ fellow prisoners died in a cholera outbreak.
Davis said finally seeing his family at Bush was his dream come true. “They mean everything to me and I love them so dearly,” he said.
Stacy Davis said it was hard knowing her husband was behind bars on a bogus charge so far away from her and their two sons.
Sometimes she felt like getting out of bed in the morning was just too much.
That’s when she said she would rely on her faith, family and friends.
“Everything that everybody did just kept us going every day,” she said. “They’re just angels.”
Stacy Davis said there will be an adjustment phase for the family but they’re looking forward to carrying on with their normal life – riding bikes in the park and watching TV in bed.
Larry Davis said he’s looking forward to having a plate of Rudy’s barbecue.
“The turkey,” he said.
Houston News & Search