Wichita Falls man pleads guilty to nightclub killing

  • In US
  • 2023-01-29 19:00:11Z
  • By Times Record News
Trayvon Strawn
Trayvon Strawn  

A man who shot to death Davonta Jason Combs with an assault rifle and wounded a woman during a chaotic exchange of gunfire as people left a local nightclub was sentenced to prison Friday, court documents show.

The shooting was at least partly captured on cell phone video, according to court documents.

Trayvon Martease Strawn, 29, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter and to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon as part of a plea bargain, according to court filings.

Thirtieth District Judge Jeff McKnight sentenced Strawn to 15 years in prison for Combs' death and five years for shooting a woman in the torso as patrons left Studio E in the 2400 block of Sheppard Access Road in the early morning hours of Aug. 26, 2018, court records show.

Strawn will serve the sentences concurrently and receive 967 days credit for jail time served.

Manslaughter is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Strawn was originally indicted for murder, which carries a maximum punishment of life in prison.

Another charge of aggravated assault was dismissed as part of a plea bargain. Strawn was accused of shooting a second woman in the foot in the same incident, according to allegations in court documents.

Aggravated assault is punishable by up to 20 years.

When Strawn's charges were pending, his bond was lowered after he sent a judge a letter pleading for reduced bail. He bonded out with conditions, including wearing a GPS ankle monitor.

In March 2021, another judge sent him back to jail and ordered him to fork over his stimulus money to an ankle-monitor company because he was behind in payments, according to court records.

The judge raised Strawn's bail, and he was still being held Friday in the Wichita County Law Enforcement Center, according to online court and jail records.

Strawn told police that he heard people leaving the club say there was going to be a shooting, so he got an assault rifle from his vehicle, according to court documents.

Strawn told police a man fired a handgun at him, and he fired back, according to court records. Strawn was wounded in the torso and thigh during the exchange of gunfire. Police were dispatched to the shooting about 3:24 a.m. that day.

Cell phone video gave investigators part of the story.

The video shows Strawn walking across the parking lot toward the nightclub's front door as he fires a rifle. Then Strawn was shot while facing the front door.

The video shows that at almost the same time he was wounded, Strawn fired toward the front door, court records show. An investigation determined Strawn shot Davonta Combs as he was exiting through that door.

Demetrion Combs told police he was leaving the nightclub beside Davonta Combs, who was hit by one of Strawn's bullets, according to court documents. But Demetrion Combs denied that he shot at Strawn.

Demetrion Combs
Demetrion Combs  

Demetrion Combs was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. A Wichita County grand jury declined to indict him in October 2018, and the charge was dismissed.

The 36-year-old did, however, pleaded guilty to a weapons charge in connection with the Studio E shooting. A witness had spotted him with a handgun.

Demetrion Combs was convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon by 78th District Judge Meredith Kennedy and sentenced to 18 years in the state jail division on Oct. 11, 2022, court documents show.

The offense carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, but his punishment was enhanced.

Two other charges against him in connection with another shooting at Studio E on Nov. 26, 2021, were dropped as part of a plea bargain. Charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and unlawful possession of a firearm were dismissed.

Trish Choate, enterprise watchdog reporter for the Times Record News, covers education, courts, breaking news and more. Contact her with news tips at tchoate@gannett.com. Her Twitter handle is @Trishapedia.

This article originally appeared on Wichita Falls Times Record News: Trayvon Strawn plea


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