Arnie Cosby, Jr. was in jail facing a charge for facilitating a murder he didn’t commit. After two years, Cosby has released thanks to the efforts of Scott Davis.
In the early morning of August 23, 2012, Keith Gaston was shot and killed in the old Hard Times Bar on Dickerson Road. Arnie Cosby, Jr., who was at the club drinking that morning, was arrested for the murder.
“I was at a club that used to be on Dickerson Rd,” said Cosby. “I was sitting down at the bar drinking, socializing and all of a sudden the shooting went on at the dance floor.”
The shooting suspect was described as a 5’4” to 5’ 6” bald Black male. Cosby is bald, but much taller than the suspect.
According to Cosby: “When they arrested me I said, ‘How ya’ll pick me, I’m 6’3?”’ They said, ‘Your background caught up with you.’”
Later, after the actual shooter, Phillip Morton was found, the prosecutor decided to charge him for facilitating a murder, despite the fact that both Cosby and the shooter admitted that they did not know each other.
“From my understanding, they didn’t know if it was him or me,” said Cosby. “But if me and him stand right beside each other, we don’t look alike and I’m way taller than him. I guess they was trying to make like we was partners. The man that got killed: I don’t know him. The man who did the killing: I don’t know him. They didn’t want to hear that.”
Cosby was later indicted on facilitating a murder.
During the trial, prosecutors presented video footage of Cosby and Morton talking. The footage was doctored, showing only snippets of time, not the entire event.
According to reports, the footage showed Cosby talking to Morton hours before the murder.
“They said I talked to him,” said Cosby. “I did talk to him but for two or three seconds.”
Cosby said Morton asked him to buy him a beer because he was short on money, but Cosby declined.
“I tell him, ‘I ain’t buying no stranger no beer. I don’t know you.’ That was the end of our conversation.”
According to Cosby, the doctored footage made it appear as if he had been talking with Morton for 20-30 minutes.
Cosby was lucky to be a resident of the council district under Scott Davis’ leadership.
“I know Cosby and realized that I hadn’t seen him in a while,” said Davis. “I was looking for him when his family told me about his situation. They told me about the footage from the shooting and how it had been cut in snippets to make Crosby look guilty. It didn’t make sense to me. If you look at the whole footage, it is obvious that Cosby is innocent.”
The family didn’t have money to pay for a new attorney, so Davis helped them get a different court appointed attorney and convinced a judge to look at the entire footage from the incident.
“I felt like we could spare three hours of our time to save an innocent man’s life,” said Davis. “I go in front of judges and the court to ask for mercy and help my constituents all the time.”
After the footage was watched in its entirety, Cosby was exonerated and released.
“If it weren’t for Scott I would still be in jail. Councilman Davis stood by my family. He stood by me,” swore Cosby.
According to Cosby, the prosecutor was fired, and another person associated with the case got suspended.
Unfortunately, Cosby’s troubles didn’t end there. While locked up, Cosby’s house had fallen is disrepair. His roof had caved in, causing his house to be in violation of codes. Cosby was left with no job, no money, and no prospects due to a criminal record received for a charge for which he was innocent. Scott, coming to the rescue again, got a local contractor to donate his time and material to fix Cosby’s roof for free.
“My roof had came in on my house and Scott helped me get my house together,” said Cosby. “If I hadn’t gotten my house together, codes was going to take my house.”
“Unfortunately, in the African American community, Cosby’s story is not unique,” said Davis. “It is why I fight so hard for criminal justice and bail reform. They literally took two years of his life away.”
Davis is now a candidate for State House Seat District 54, and is bringing much needed criminal reform to North Nashville. Recent reports show that North Nashville is full of people like Arnie Cosby, with up to 30% of the population having been incarcerated in the over policed community.