Nelson County, VA
The following press release was received from CA Anthony Martin’s office regarding the disposition of this case. Original story here. The release has been posted verbatim:
Update: 5.8.12 4PM EDT
CA Martin also added the follwing information to the original release:
Mr. Davis pleaded guilty to 4 felony charges this afternoon in the Nelson County Circuit Court for possessing a firearm during the sale, distribution or manufacturing of illegal alcohol. He received 5 years in prison on each charge for total of 20 years all suspended except for 90 days. He will begin serving his 90 day jail sentence on May 24, 2012. After his release, he will be on probation for 10 years and all firearms seized are forfeited to the Commonwealth.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: May 8, 2012
RE: Roseland couple convicted of animal cruelty
FROM: ANTHONY MARTIN, COMMONWEALTH’S ATTORNEY
David Tracy Davis and Joyce Davis of Roseland were found guilty of animal cruelty yesterday in the Nelson County General District Court by Retired Judge Steve Helvin of Charlottesville.
Both were charged with approximately 30 counts of animal cruelty last November after authorities obtained a search warrant following an investigation by the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control board. Authorities observed that many of the dogs were dehydrated and had inadequate shelter. Dr. Rachel Touroo of the State Veterinary office in Richmond was at the Rooster Ridge property during the execution of the search warrant. She provided expert testimony in the day-long trial approximately 2 months ago. She testified that virtually none of the dogs had clean water and several had tumors, one of which was the size of a softball.
One of the dogs, a Pomeranian that stayed in the house with the Davises, had missing teeth and suffered from an infection which could be seen and smelled by authorities when they entered the home last November. Authorities also testified that they saw no dog food on the premises.
Judge Helvin announced his decision yesterday. David Tracy Davis was found guilty of 14 counts of animal cruelty while Joyce Davis was convicted of 15 counts. Helvin stated that while there was no actual abuse of these animals, there was neglect of many of them.
After the Commonwealth’s Attorney Anthony Martin requested active jail time for the couple, Helvin recalled testimony from Sandy Solar of Nelson County Animal Control, who testified for the Davises in the trial, that she did not observe any signs of neglect when she visited the property earlier in 2011. While Helvin expressed concern about the vast difference between Solar’s and Dr. Touroo’s observations, he decided that he would not impose active jail time since animal control did not see any problems.
Both defendants were sentenced to 60 days in jail suspended on each charge. They are also prohibited from owning any companion animals or livestock for a period of 2 years. Photographs of the animals introduced in the trial have been kept in the court records.
I believe the judge was too lenient with these animal abusers. Animals can’t speak up for themselves. These people should be subject to such inhumane conditions.