“June. Help.”


Photo shows Mayo's home on Dec. 5, 2012.

CULLMAN – "June. Help." Those are the words Helen June Mayo was able to say over the phone when she called for help on the morning of Dec. 3, 2012, according to the longtime friend and neighbor who took that call and who took the stand this morning on what was the first day of the trial of Emmett Leroy Davis, 57, of Arab.  Davis is accused of murder in the death of Mayo, who was 87 at the time of her passing in Jan. 2013.

Mayo was allegedly attacked in her home some time late Dec. 2, 2012 or early Dec. 3, 2012. She died at UAB Hospital in Birmingham the following month after succumbing to her injuries sustained during the attack.

Davis was arrested in Arab one day after the alleged attack took place. He was originally charged with assault, but those charges were upgraded to murder after Mayo died.

Mayo lived by herself on Fourth Avenue Northeast across from Cullman High School. Police say that Davis did maintenance work for Mayo and many of her elderly friends and neighbors in the area.

Perhaps the most emotional part of today's proceedings was when the prosecution showed photos of Mayo that were taken after the attack. In the courtroom, Mayo's friends and family cried silently and turned their heads away from the images. The injuries to Mayo's face were so severe that the members of Cullman Fire and Rescue who were first on the scene believed Mayo was dead when they arrived.

Dr. John Grant, the craniofacial plastic surgeon who operated on Mayo at UAB, testified that almost every bone in Mayo's face was shattered.

The indictment against Davis alleges that he struck Mayo in the head and face "with a firearm and/or other deadly weapon and/or dangerous instrument."

Davis, for his part, was mostly stoic throughout the day, sitting quietly at the defense table in dark glasses.

The first day of testimony wrapped up at around 5 p.m., after Mayo's family member Leonard Collier took the stand. Collier, who said he and Mayo were extremely close, said," She (Mayo) seemed to have an urgency about wanting to talk to me." Collier was able to accompany Mayo in the emergency room when she was first taken to Cullman Regional Medical Center.

Cullman County Circuit Court Judge Martha Williams is presiding over the proceedings, which are set to resume at 8:45 a.m. on Tuesday.