Troubled history of suspect in beating of Berkley man at Detroit gas station

The suspect charged in the beating death of a Berkley man after a car crash in July had his first run-in with the law 15 years ago - when he was just nine years old. His juvenile and adult record shows he's had a troubled life ever since.

Lawrence Davis and Tyler Wingate were nearly the same age when they met last month when the two got into a minor car accident in Detroit on July 22. Davis is accused of punching and beating Wingate to death after a crash at Livernois and Davison. Surveillance video from a gas station showed Wingate walking up to a man and being hit with a vicious right punch.

"The victim was defenseless, woozy, unarmed, acting very calmly and at this point in time, the defendant continued to brutally assault the victim in the case," said the prosecutor on Wednesday. 

However, it was a final kick to the head before Davis fled that the prosecutor said was what killed Wingate. 

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A little more than a week after the fatal beating, Davis was arrested at an apartment on 8 Mile in Detroit. On Thursday, he was arraigned on the murder charge.

How did this happen? How did two 24-year-old men get to this point?

The answer for Davis is in the court records. 

While he's not been convicted of the murder, Davis has had a life full of hardship and violence. On Thursday, his aunt told FOX 2 that it was all a mistake.

After Wingate's death, word started to spread that Davis had a difficult upbringing. His family didn't want to talk so the court records will have to tell the story.

In Detroit and Wayne County, kids who commit crimes are processed through the Lincoln Hall of Justice - aka juvenile court. For Davis, it started in 2005, when he was nine years old and picked up for a curfew violation in Detroit.

Two years later, he was in trouble in Highland Park, the next year was his second curfew violation in Detroit, and over the next year, he would miss 83 days of school.

In February 2010, things got serious. He was ordered to leave the grounds of Stewart Academy when he punched a cop and was charged with assault.

Court records show that his father was absent  and eventually listed as dead. 

In September 2010, Davis' mother died. The next month, he was caught in a stolen Dodge Intrepid. 

He pleaded guilty and was on probation with grief counseling, mentoring, drug screens and tether. The court recommended tutoring, and sent him to his grandmother's home in a rough west side neighborhood, where life did not get any easier.

On March 23, 2011, Davis was charged with assault with intent to murder and, at the age of 15, was tried as an adult.

He pleaded guilty to weapons charges and was sentenced to between 29 and 57 months in prison. But the sentence was delayed and he bounced around youth programs and lived with relatives - while testing positive for marijuana and getting involved in an incident at his guardian's apartment complex.

By October 2013, when Davis was 18, the court ruled that Davis had "Received the maximum benefit from services provided and is no longer a danger to community or himself."

That may have been wishful thinking.

Two years later, just days before his 20th birthday, Davis pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct. The following year, he was charged with domestic violence for assaulting his aunt.

That the case was dismissed when she failed to appear in court.

He's due back in court later this month.