James W. Davis Jr. – Prosecuting Attorney
James W. Davis Jr. graduated from West Virginia University College of Law in 1977. He accepted a position as Assistant Prosecutor in the Hancock County Prosecutor’s Office in December, 1979 handling misdemeanor, juvenile, and abuse and neglect cases. From 1979 through 1992 he helped prosecute dozens of animal abuse cases.
In 1992, James was elected to his current position of Prosecuting Attorney. In 2011, he worked on a case involving the torture, mutilation, and death of at least 29 animals, most of whom were puppies. The investigation revealed decapitated dogs, skinned dogs, burned dogs, and dogs shot multiple times with pellet guns, arrows, and other projectiles. Among the most disturbing discoveries at Jeffrey Nally Jr.’s house were the bleached skull of a pet dog on the mantle, the pelt of a skinned beagle, eyeballs kept in a mason jar in the basement, and a long spike used to drill into the ear of a Lab puppy. Because of these unimaginable horrors, the incident was understandably difficult for all investigators to participate in. But the professional expertise of James Davis, Dr. Melinda Merck of ASPCA, Dr. Beth Wictum of UC-Davis, and ALDF’s Scott Heiser helped put together a strong case against Nally. This teamwork resulted in a successful prosecution and conviction. Nally will serve concurrent sentences of 10 to 25 years in prison, which he is currently serving in the West Virginia prison system.
Since that time, James has continued to prosecute animal abuse cases including a domestic violence case leading to the seizure of numerous Papillion dogs being over bred and neglected by a breeder. He lives in Weirton, West Virginia with his wife of 38 years, Michele.