Hidden weapon on display as police question Fresno killer's self-defense claim

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A killer's claim he acted in self-defense fell apart once police saw a video of the encounter, according to the lead investigator.

Hidden inside an otherwise innocuous cane, Fresno police detectives discovered the weapon used to kill Bernard Jackson.

Surveillance video from the Vista Food Market in southwest Fresno recorded the deadly confrontation between Jackson and Curtis Michael Davis, who is now on trial for Jackson's murder.

I was able to see the suspect pull a sword out of his cane," said Fresno police detective Melanie Mayo. "So he draws it back, you can see his elbow raised. Then I see him lunge forward."

Mayo and her partner interviewed Davis hours after the April 2018 incident. He always claimed self-defense, but his explanation of how the fight went downshifted a couple times.

He had given Jackson money to buy beer in the store since he was not allowed inside.

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Davis told the investigators Jackson came out, threw a beer on him, and threatened to rob him -- making throat-slashing gestures and hinting he had a weapon.

"He showed me the knife like he was holding it in his pocket," Davis told the investigators in the recorded interview.

But Mayo says surveillance video shows Jackson only threw beer after Davis punched him with the cane sword and all along, Davis was the aggressor.

"At the time he punches Mr. Jackson, I was able to see that Mr. Jackson's hand was resting on one of those yellow poles," she said.

Jackson walked a few steps after the attack before he crumpled over and died.

Davis walked home to his nearby apartment complex, carrying his cane without leaning on it.

He now faces 26 years to life in prison if he is convicted.
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