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Smith Co. District Attorney's Office recuses itself from prosecuting lawyer of William Davis for allegedly soliciting a prostitute

Phillip Wayne Hayes, 48 of Dallas, is accused of seeking out sex for payment while William Davis' trial was ongoing in Oct. 2021.

SMITH COUNTY, Texas — **EDITOR'S NOTE: The video above is from William Davis' sentencing on Oct. 27, 201.

The Smith County District Attorney's Office says it has recused itself from prosecuting a lawyer who was arrested after representing convicted serial killer William Davis during his murder trial.

Phillip Wayne Hayes, 48 of Dallas, is accused of seeking out sex for payment while Davis' trial was ongoing in Oct. 2021.

The following month, Hayes was arrested and charged with solicitation of prostitution. He was booked into the Smith County Jail, but posted his $2,000 bond the same day.

Smith County District Attorney Jacob Putman says he recused himself and his office from prosecuting the case in order to "protect the record on the [William] Davis case."

"Billy Byrd in Upshur County is prosecuting Mr. Hayes in our place," Putman said.

Byrd serves as the district attorney in Upshur County.

According to an arrest affidavit, Smith County undercover officers posted ads on a website commonly used for human trafficking and prostitution.

The document states Hayes began exchanging texts with the undercover officer on Oct. 5 for roughly two hours that afternoon. Investigators identified Hayes using his phone number and law enforcement database searches.

Oct. 5 was the sixth day of the Davis trial, in which Hayes and fellow attorney Douglas Parks worked on the defense.

Credit: Les Hassell, Longview News-Journal

The trial began Sept. 28 and ended Oct. 27 when Davis was ultimately sentenced to death for injecting air into patients’ arterial systems while he was a nurse at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital in Tyler, causing them to have brain damage and later die.

Another search showed Hayes owned a 2020 black Land Rover Defender. The affidavit reads Hayes asked for an hour of time for him to pay $110 for sex. After Hayes requested, the undercover officer gave him a location to meet around 6 p.m.

An arrest team saw Hayes’ vehicle come to the location, and he was arrested and transported for an interview, the affidavit stated.

Because of Hayes’ involvement as counsel in the ongoing trial, officers made the decision to get a warrant at a later date.

Hayes’ law practice, Phillip Hayes Attorney at Law, is based out of Dallas.

According to the Texas Bar Association, Hayes has been licensed to practice law since 1999. His law firm website states the office focuses entirely on criminal defense in Texas state and federal courts.

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