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Three Artemus individuals pleaded guilty to sexual-related charges involving minors

From The Times Tribune -


Three Artemus individuals pleaded guilty to sexual-related charges involving minors in Knox County Circuit Court Thursday December 5, 2019.

Lora Ethel Davis, 29; Joseph Robert Davis, 30; and James M. Davis, 23, all accepted plea deals, pleading guilty to three counts of first-degree criminal abuse to a child under the age of 12 years old.


All remaining charges in this matter will be dropped as part of the plea deal. The original charges for each defendant being dropped are: three counts of first-degree sodomy, victim under the age of 12 years old; and three counts of first-degree sexual abuse, victim under the age of 12 years old.


Both Joseph and James Davis were originally indicted on a 10th count, first-degree rape. That charge has been dropped also. As a result of the plea deal, the Commonwealth recommended a sentence of 10 years for each count to be served concurrently.


On Sept.16, 2018, Lora Davis contacted the Knox County Dispatch Center asking to speak with an officer, stating she needed to make a complaint against herself, according to the report. She then reportedly told police she had sodomized her children three to four years ago. Her arrest citation states that she decided to make her admission because “she needed to go to jail so her kids could have justice.”


Following an investigation, she was arrested and later indicted in November 2018 on three counts of first-degree sodomy. Through further investigation, Joseph Davis and James Davis were also found to be involved in the incidents. According to the indictment, at least three children were involved in the incidents, with their ages at the time being roughly 6, 5 and 4.

James Davis also pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a different incident which took place in 2017.


James Davis was originally indicted on two counts for his role in the disappearance of Douglas Middleton. James Davis was originally indicted with one count of kidnapping and one count of first-degree assault. As part of his plea deal, James Davis’ charges regarding this incident have been amended to one count of first-degree unlawful imprisonment and one count of second-degree assault.


The Commonwealth recommended that James Davis’ serve five years for unlawful imprisonment and 10 years for second-degree assault. Both sentences would be served consecutively and also concurrently with his sentencing for first-degree criminal abuse in the other case.


On Feb. 15, 2017, Kentucky State Police received a call reporting Middleton, 23 years old at the time, missing. He was found 17 days later in the woods near his home. Through his investigation, Det. Wilson with Kentucky State Police was able to determine that James Davis, was responsible for kidnapping Middleton.


James Davis forced Middleton onto an ATV and forced him to stay in a building, according to the police report. As a result of injuries and frostbite, Middleton had both legs amputated at the University of Tennessee Medical Center.


A formal sentencing trial for each defendant has been scheduled for Dec. 17.

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