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Published: Tuesday, 11/6/2007

Witness to testify against officer in Canton


CANTON, Ohio - Minutes before a jury was to begin considering her fate, a woman struck a deal that will give prosecutors important testimony against a city police officer accused in the slaying of a pregnant woman.

Myisha Ferrell, 30, of Canton, a high school classmate of Patrolman Bobby Cutts Jr., pleaded guilty yesterday to two counts in the death of Jessie Davis, including helping dispose of the body, which she admitted to with a barely audible "guilty."

The plea gives prosecutors a witness with firsthand knowledge of the crime, but leaves many questions in the case publicly unanswered until Mr. Cutts' trial on aggravated murder and other charges begins Feb. 4. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

Ms. Davis, 26, was believed missing for nine days in June, and thousands searched fields and woods close to her home near North Canton, about 45 miles south of Cleveland.

Prosecutors say Ferrell knew what happened to Ms. Davis and she pleaded guilty in Stark County Common Pleas Court to obstructing justice for lying to authorities. She also admitted to complicity to gross abuse of a corpse.

Ferrell was sentenced to two years in prison and will be eligible for release after one year, according to the terms of her plea agreement. She had faced up to six years in prison if convicted on both counts.

Ferrell agreed to testify against Mr. Cutts, 30, who has been suspended from the Canton police force. Investigators say Ms. Davis was killed in her home June 14.

Authorities have not said how she died, or discussed a motive.

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