Joe Ed Davis, 46, was convicted and sentenced this week in a San Angelo district court for indecency with a 14-year-old child and now faces life in prison. This was Davis’ second conviction of indecency with a child and for that he received an enhanced sentence of life in prison instead of the usual two to twenty year sentence for the Second Degree Felony.
San Angelo Live reported that Davis was at a relative’s house in June of 2012 when he made the indecent sexual contact with a 14-year-old boy. Law enforcement eventually caught up with Davis in Fort Worth, which was his latest residence. He was transported back to San Angelo for trial.
According to court records obtained by Breitbart Texas, Davis selected a trial by judge. 391st District Court Judge Tom Gossett presided over the trial, convicted Davis and then sentenced him to the mandatory life sentence. The enhancement came due to Davis’ prior conviction, also in San Angelo, in 1990 for indecency with a child. Texas penal law requires the subsequent conviction to carry the mandatory life imprisonment.
Davis was indicted on this charge in December of 2012. At that time a warrant was issued for his arrest. In September, 2013 Davis was arrested in Fort Worth and returned to the Tom Green County Jail. He pled not guilty and scheduled a trial by jury, however, in January, 2014, the jury trial was cancelled and Davis was scheduled for a trial by judge was scheduled. On April 9th, Davis changed his plea to guilty and was convicted and sentenced by Judge Gossett on April 14th.
The enhanced sentence, which will keep Davis in prison until he is 81-years-old when he will first be eligible for parole, is a result of Texas’ “Jessica’s Law” adopted by the 2007 Texas Legislature and signed into law by Governor Rick Perry. The bill, HB 8, was authored by State Representative Debbie Riddle (R-Tomball). State Senator Bob Deuell (R-Greenville) authored a companion bill (SB 5) in the Senate which passed the Senate and was later incorporated into HB 8. The law provides for stiffer penalties for certain types of sexual assaults against children including a possible death penalty or life without parole for “super” aggravated sexual assault of a child.
In a phone interview with Breitbart Texas, Rep. Riddle said, “The Davis conviction is a perfect example of why we created Jessica’s Law. Since HB 8 was signed into law by Governor Perry in 2007, well over a hundred child molesters have been subjected to the stiffer penalties and enhanced charges we created in the law.”
Riddle reminded Breitbart Texas about the Emma Thompson sexual abuse/murder case that occurred in her district not long after this law went into effect. “Because of the stronger penalties provided for in Jessica’s Law, the Harris County District Attorney decided to prosecute her killer, Lucas Ruric Coe, for Super Aggravated Sexual Assault, rather than murder. Because of Jessica’s Law, Coe was sentenced to life in prison without parole.”
Public records show that Joe Ed Davis also had several other misdemeanor convictions for theft, larceny, shoplifting and revocation of probation. He now awaits transportation to the Texas prison system where he will likely spend the rest of his natural life.
Follow Bob Price on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX