The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

May 1, 2013

Judge assesses prison term in violent abduction case

NEOSHO, Mo. — A judge sentenced Johnny Davis Jr. to 15 years in prison Wednesday for violently abducting two women in 2011 while on parole from a previous rape conviction.

It could be considerably longer than that before Davis, 33, gets out from behind bars.

Associate Circuit Judge John LePage assessed him 15 years on each of two counts of kidnapping and two counts of assault on which a jury had convicted him in March. The judge ordered that the terms run concurrently. But he also ordered that they be imposed after Davis completes whatever time he has left to serve in Oklahoma.

Davis was paroled in Oklahoma in 2010 after serving 11 years of a 30-year term for raping a teacher. A parole violation remains pending against him in Craig County. He also still faces a rape charge in Nowata County, with respect to one of the victims he kidnapped near Joplin on Dec. 26, 2011, and took with him to Oklahoma.

Prosecutor Jake Skouby said after the sentencing hearing Wednesday in Newton County Circuit Court that he was pleased to see the judge make the defendant’s prison time in Missouri run consecutively to any remaining time he serves in Oklahoma.

“It’s rare for us, in my opinion, to deal with a defendant as dangerous as this defendant is,” Skouby said. “He’s just too dangerous to be out on the street.”

The victims were 29 and 39 years of age when Davis abducted them. The women thought they were meeting someone who had brought them some methamphetamine when they encountered Davis in the early morning hours on Cedar Drive south of the Petro truck stop in Joplin.

Neither woman knew the man who attacked them when they arrived at the rendezvous, punching one of them in the side of her head and the other in her face. He then forced them into his truck and drove them into Oklahoma.

The women testified that Davis cruised around for 12 hours, forcing them to perform sex on him as well as sex acts with each other. Later, he stopped on a gravel road and raped the younger woman in the truck, they said. He then raped her again at an abandoned farmhouse, they said.

Davis reportedly was high on meth and extremely paranoid throughout most of the abduction. The women testified that they were too afraid to try to get away from him and instead adopted a tactic of trying to get him to empathize with them.

He eventually began coming down from the meth, drove them back to Joplin and dropped them off at Freeman Hospital West, where the younger woman sought treatment for a broken nose and injured collarbone.

Davis never took the witness stand in his own defense at his trial. His public defender instead tried to make an issue of whether the women’s accounts were believable.

Venue

JOHNNY DAVIS JR.’S TRIAL was moved to McDonald County on a change of venue from Newton County. But his sentencing hearing was held Wednesday in Newton County by agreement of the defense and prosecution.

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