Dayton man accused of murder of Carson City man bound over to district court |

Dayton man accused of murder of Carson City man bound over to district court

Wheeler Cowperthwaite
Shannon Litz/Nevada Appeal

A Dayton man accused of killing a Carson City man during a confrontation on Super Bowl Sunday was bound over to district court Friday afternoon.

Justice of the Peace John Tatro bound David Michael Grimes, 32, over on charges of open murder with a deadly weapon and battery with a deadly weapon causing substantial bodily harm. Grimes is accused of firing a single shot through James Lay’s chest, puncturing his heart and other organs, before Lay died in front of his Washington Street house around 8:35 p.m. Feb. 3.

Grimes will be arraigned in district court at 9 a.m. May 7.

Lay’s wife, Donyelle Lay, testified Grimes came to her home to drop their son off. Grimes and Donyelle Lay have a child together. When Grimes brushed past James Lay, 32, words were exchanged.

“David pushed up against Jimmy. Jimmy said, ‘This is my house; don’t be disrespectful.’ They started fist fighting. I tried to break it up,” she testified through bouts of sobbing. She said she was able to break up the fight after a few minutes.

“It was stupid,” she said.

Grimes then went outside and Lay followed, Donyelle Lay testified.

Lay’s friend Rory Trathen, who attended the Lays’ Super Bowl party, testified the intoxicated James Lay repeatedly asked Grimes to shake his hand. Grimes, moments before, had gone to the trunk of his car, Trathen said.

“They were shaking hands at the end of the driveway,” Donyelle Lay said.

A scuffle then ensued and after the men were separated, Donyelle testified, Grimes said something inaudible that led to another confrontation.

After the two were locked in a struggle, Trathen said he heard a gun go off and he hit the ground.

“I couldn’t see anything. It was dark. Just them out in the street. I was on the sidewalk, the other side of Jimmy’s car,” Trathen testified. “I heard the gunshot. Jimmy staggered towards me. I asked if he was hit, he said, ‘Yes, get me into the house.’ We walked up the (driveway). He collapsed over into the doorway.”

Grimes’ grandfather-in-law, Johnny Jones, said Grimes was at his house in Dayton with his son for the majority of the Super Bowl. He then left to drop his son off at the Washington Street house. After the shooting, Donyelle Lay called Jones’ wife; Jones went to look for the revolver he kept in his closet, a .357 Magnum. The revolver was gone.

“I didn’t know he had taken my weapon,” Jones testified. “It was always loaded. An unloaded weapon is no good.”

The gunshot wound on Lay was on the top right side of his chest and the exit wound at the back left side of his body. Senior Forensic Specialist Dean Higman testified it was his opinion Lay was in some kind of headlock when the gun, pointed toward Lay’s chest, went off. The stippling on Lay’s chest, next to the gunshot wound and on Grimes’ left hand, helped lead him to that conclusion, he testified.

Grimes’ defense attorney, Kenneth Ward, asked Higman if the shot could have been fired in a defensive position.

A position can be found to support it if one tries hard enough, Higman said.

“Do you believe your opinion is the only one that makes sense in this case?” Ward asked.

“I do,” Higman replied.

After Grimes was bound over, Ward asked Tatro to consider lifting the no-bail hold Grimes is being held on.

“I’m going to leave bail where it is,” Tatro said.