Florida Man Alleges Football Rivalry Led to Wrongful Murder Prosecution


An Apopka man is accusing city officials of trying to pin murder charges on him, in part because he clashed with the police chief in a “deep-seated, bitter” youth football league rivalry.

In a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday, Timothy Allen Davis Sr. accuses Apopka officers of tampering with evidence, lying under oath and unlawfully arresting him following the 2011 death of his son. Davis, a retired Orlando police officer, shot and killed his 22-year-old son in what he argued was self-defense, and a jury acquitted him of criminal wrongdoing in the case.

Davis, 51, said in a phone interview that the Apopka Police Department conducted a “malicious prosecution” that traumatized him and his family during their bereavement.

“It was truly nobody but the lord on my side,” he said.

Mayor Joe Kilsheimer said he cannot comment on pending litigation against the city.

The deadly fight between Davis and his son, Timothy Davis Jr., unfolded Oct. 1, 2011, at the family’s Apopka home. The complaint states that the son “violently and brutally” attacked his father without provocation.

The elder Davis told a jury he ran into the garage to escape the assault. When his son followed him, he grabbed a gun from his car and fired twice, he testified.

Davis’ lawsuit accuses Apopka police of extensive misconduct in the investigation. He alleges that law enforcement officers targeted him because of a dispute with former Apopka police Chief Robert Manley III over coaching for the Apopka Raptors, a local youth football team.

Davis claims his arrest after the shooting was unlawful because he shot his son in self defense.

Detectives also failed to advise him of his rights before interviewing him and extracted a statement by promising to let him see his hospitalized son if he cooperated, the complaint alleges. Davis claims that the officers deleted portions of the interview recording that would’ve shown the statement was coerced.

Named as defendants in Davis’ lawsuit are Apopka’s former and current mayors, the former chief administrative officer, the former police chief and 11 other current and former employees with the police department. The suit does not specify how much Davis is seeking in damages; he said the legal action is “not even about the money.”

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