Murder of teacher, Anthony Davis, by former student Ashanti Bess investigated on Homicide City: Charlotte

Mugshot of Ashanti Bess
Ashanti Bess shot dead and robbed his former teacher, Anthony Davis. Pic credit: North Carolina Dept. of Corrections

Anthony Davis was a by all accounts a particularly diligent middle school teacher in Charlotte, NC. Students and friends spoke about how he taught them responsibility and duty. He was considered by many as a genuine mentor.

However, in 2010 Davis, 38,  was shot dead in his home by former student Ashanti Bess. Davis was reported missing when one day, he failed to turn up for work. When officers searched his home, they have him shot to death in his bed with the sheets still covering his body. His car was missing from the driveway.

Davis’s Ford was found abandoned the next day, and on a search of Ashanti Bess’s home, they discovered he’d stolen a number of other items from his former teacher. Bess handed himself in to the cops a few days later.

Bess, then 22-years-old, had initially met Davis when he was a student at Sedgefield Middle School. He was part of the Right Moves for Youth program, which encouraged troubled teens to stay in school. It was a program that Davis was very involved with.

It appears the two developed a reasonably close relationship as Davis had occasionally allowed Bess to stay at his house during his difficult teenage years.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department put the motive for the killing as robbery; however, Bess would later claim that Davis had sexually propositioned him on the night of the murder. He claimed that the victim had first asked him for a frontal massage and then offered him money for sex, and this was why he fired his gun.

Ashanti Bess pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and armed robbery and was sentenced to between 21 and 27 years in prison.

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The ABCs of Murder will air on Homicide City: Charlotte at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.

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