Sources: Man accused of fatally beating Berkley man after Detroit crash confesses to crime

Lawrence Davis arraigned Wednesday

DETROIT – Sources say a man accused of beating a Berkley man to death after a crash in Detroit confessed to the crime.

Lawrence Davis, 23, was in court Wednesday for his arraignment. Davis is charged with open murder in connection with the fatal beating of Tyler Jordan Wingate, 24.

  • Davis allegedly fatally beat Wingate after a crash about 1 a.m. July 22 on Livernois Avenue near West Davison Street.
  • Davis fled the scene and a eight-day manhunt ensued.
  • He was arrested July 30 at an apartment building near 8 Mile and Telegraph roads.

Sources told Local 4 that Davis made a deal to turn himself in over the weekend but didn't show up. Sources also said he made a mistake that led police to him, but police won't reveal what that mistake was.

Victim's family releases statement

Wingate's family released a statement regarding the incident Wedesday.

Read the full statement below:

On behalf of our family, we can’t begin to express the gratitude we have for the tireless efforts of local law enforcement who assisted in apprehending Davis. Our family knows this process is not easy and it takes a tremendous amount of man-power to perform this work. We are also very grateful to the media and community who assisted in catching the suspect who has been charged with committing this senseless and violent crime.

We know things of this nature happen every day and as a community, we should come together and remember the city of Detroit is on a path moving forward creating positive change for our community. We need to put aside our anger and continue focusing on the work being done to make Detroit a better, stronger and safer city because that is what Tyler would have wanted.

Our family will forever miss Tyler. He always wanted to help others and believed Detroit was a great place to live. We are committed to fulfill his dreams. Today we join Tyler and focus on sharing the good things happening in Detroit. We will be part of the change and do our part to build a safer city and begin building a stronger community, one where everyone feels safe.

In the days to come, please continue to respect our families need for privacy as we go through the grieving process. We stand united in our desire to have this individual prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. It is up to the legal system to determine his fate.

What happened

Police said Davis was determined to be at fault in the July 22 crash.

Davis and Wingate got out of their vehicles and walked into a nearby gas station parking lot, where Davis is accused of striking Wingate in the head, according to authorities.

Tyler Wingate (WDIV)
Tyler Wingate (WDIV)

The Detroit Police Department SWAT Team was on the move Friday night, checking a house near Dexter Avenue and Davison Street, looking for Davis.Tipsters told police there was a party at a duplex Thursday night and Davis was there. A tipster thought Davis was hiding in the basement.

Police searched the home but there was no sign of Davis on Friday night.

After Wingate fell, Davis continued to strike and kick him, police said. Davis fled the scene on foot, officials said.

Detroit police officers were called to the area around 1:45 a.m. for a reported shooting. Officers said they found Wingate lying on the ground of the gas station parking lot in the 13500 block of Livernois Avenue.

Lawrence James Davis
Lawrence James Davis

The two damaged vehicles were nearby, police said.

Medical officials took Wingate to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Officers had been searching for Davis since. Detroit police Chief James Craig said Tuesday that officials believed there were people who knew where Davis was, but had said nothing.

Craig said Davis was moving around to different locations in an effort to evade police.

About the Authors: