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Man accused of murdering three friends over a jacket

Curtis Davis \ Phofrom Chicago Police.

Curtis Davis \ Photo from Chicago Police.

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Updated: May 3, 2012 8:12AM

A convicted murderer who has been out of prison for four years killed three former buddies in a brutal shooting that left one victim riddled with 33 bullet wounds, prosecutors say.

Curtis Davis, 40, is accused of shooting Terry Brown, 34, Michael Nowels, 33, and Julius Benford, 29, Tuesday night at Brown’s Woodlawn home. All three victims have criminal records for drug offenses, and police recovered a large amount of cash from Brown’s home in the 6300 block of South Evans.

But the victims’ families said the deadly dispute was over something trivial — a FUBU-branded men’s jacket.

Davis allegedly had given the jacket to Brown in exchange for several shirts and pairs of pants. However, when Davis later demanded the jacket back, they fell out, leading to the shooting, Brown’s grandmother Barbara Brown said.

“It just shows you what life means to some people,” Brown’s grandmother added. “To shoot three people over a jacket.”

Davis, who was charged with three counts of murder and was denied bail by Judge James Brown Sunday, allegedly knocked on the door of Brown’s second floor apartment shortly before 11 p.m. Tuesday, prosecutors said. When Benford answered the door, Davis shot all three men repeatedly, it’s alleged.

A fourth man inside the apartment grabbed a gun and fired back at Davis but missed, Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Terry Clancy said.

Nowels, of the 6400 block of South Stony Island, was found dead with 33 bullet wounds; Brown was found dead with a gunshot to the head; and Benford, of the 4400 block of South Princeton, died of multiple gunshot wounds an hour later at Stroger Hospital, authorities said.

Two witnesses later identified Davis as the shooter, and Davis gave a videotaped statement admitting he shot Brown and Benford, Clancy said. Police recovered two dozen bullet casings from the bloody scene.

Davis was convicted in 1990 of the 1989 murder of Harvey Austin, court records show. Sentenced to 40 years, he was released in 2008 after serving 18 years, Clancy said.

Brown’s family does not believe that Davis acted alone in Tuesday’s murders. “One person could not have done that,” Brown’s mother Deborah Stone said. Stone said the money police recovered from her son’s home was hers and that she does not know anything about any drugs.

“I gave him that money for a truck I bought from him,” she said.

Brown leaves behind a 7-year-old daughter, his family said. Nowels leaves a 14-year-old son and a 10-year-old daughter.

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