Michael Davis and Jimmy Mays were like brothers.
Davis even offered to have Mays come live with him when there were problems at home, the mother of Davis’ youngest children says.
Now, Davis is dead in a triple homicide. Mays and another friend are charged with the killings.
The two men met through the Egg Harbor City woman who grew up with Mays and lived in Galloway Township with Davis for years.
“Michael gave him $1,000 so James could buy his kids Christmas presents,” said “Gina,” who asked that her real name not be used out of concern for her safety and that of the three young children she and Davis shared.
She said she still can’t believe Mays and Galloway Township’s Lavelle Davis — who is not related to the victim — have been charged.
“I had to ask the prosecutor, ‘Do you have enough evidence to place them at the scene?’” she said. “That right there was heartbreaking.”
The two men are due in Essex County Superior Court on Sept. 15, their last appearances before the case goes on the trial list. No potential plea deals have been made public.
Both have been ordered held pending trial.
Gina doesn’t know what the details of the killings were, only that the three were shot.
She knows that when she was finally allowed inside the home, there was blood everywhere and the place had been ransacked.
“To go in there, it was horrible,” she said.
She has been told that Michael Davis’ best friend, Lance Fraser, was found dead in the basement, and that his apartment had been ransacked as well.
The third victim, Roshana Kenilson, 30, had just stopped by to visit after leaving her mother’s birthday party, Gina said.
Firefighters found the three 11:45 a.m. Jan. 29, after they were asked to do a wellness check.
Michael Davis was a drug supplier, Gina said.
“Yes, he was into the streets,” she said. “He was heavy into the streets.”
But just two weeks before his death, Michael Davis had flown her and his mother down to Atlanta to find a place to live.
“He was trying to get out of the lifestyle,” said Gina, who got a call that a place was available about four months after his death.
“It’s just been so hard,” she said. “I’m still in a state of shock.”
Davis had been her provider, taking care of their three children together, his three from a previous relationship, and the three she had before meeting him.
“He helped so many people in his lifetime,” she said.
Now, she goes to every court hearing, and has to see the men she once thought of as friends.
Mays’ family has not been there, but Lavelle Davis’ has, she said.
“It’s sad, because I know these people,” she said. “There’s nothing I can say to them, and there’s nothing they can say to me.”
She watches her children without their father around to make them smile, and knows that there are other kids suffering from this as well.
“Lavelle and James both have children,” she said. “Lance had two children. Roshana had one. Everybody left children behind. It’s heartbreaking.”