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Judge's candidate: Brother victimized family, too

The brother of a candidate for Jackson County circuit judge and son of former Judge Ross Davis has been jailed following a string of incidents in which he allegedly assaulted his ex-girlfriend, burglarized his parents’ house and broke a window and fence at another home.

After being released from the Jackson County Jail following three incidents in July and August, Brian George Davis, 50, was held in jail following his fourth arrest Aug. 18. His bail is set at $160,000, according to Friday jail inmate data.

In a Facebook post, his ex-girlfriend said he was released too quickly from jail after his initial arrests.

“I am willing to do anything ... to get my story told and how messed up the system is. I told the officer the first time he was arrested he would come right back to hurt me and HE DID.... Just because you are a judge’s son you can get away with attempted murder?” she wrote.

But Davis’ brother Joe, a Medford lawyer running against prosecutor David Orr in November, said his family also has been victimized and has not intervened on Brian’s behalf.

Brian Davis’ ex-girlfriend alleged on Facebook that his verbal abuse escalated into punching, kicking and strangling her.

“I called the police numerous times, and he would spend one or two nights in jail. Then he would show up at our house saying, ‘Honey, I’m home.’ Like a creepy movie. If he gets out again, I don’t know what will happen,” she wrote.

She also alleged that Brian Davis has alcohol and drug problems.

The Mail Tribune reached out to her for comment and she responded in a Facebook message, “My ex assaulted me. Joe Davis’ brother. He will probably go to prison for years.”

Joe Davis said his family has “taken no action to facilitate Brian’s release from custody.”

“My family has also recently been the victim of his actions, including a burglary charge and two violations of a restraining order my mother had to take out against him,” Joe Davis said. “It has been terrible for my own family to deal with this conduct over the years. We have tremendous sympathy for everyone else victimized by his behaviors. My understanding is he gets released during the normal course of jail operations due to overcrowding.”

Although Joe Davis said he sympathizes with anyone victimized by his brother, he doesn’t agree with insinuations that local judges or the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, which operates the jail, have engaged in any impropriety and given preferential treatment to Brian Davis.

“I have a high degree of confidence in our judges and the sheriff that they’re doing the very best they can with limited resources. My family has not advocated for his release,” Joe Davis said.

In the first of four recent cases, Brian Davis faces a charge of harassment. A probable cause affidavit alleges he injured his ex-girlfriend’s arm and dragged her by her hair.

Brian Davis was arrested July 30 and signed an agreement to be released on his own recognizance Aug. 1. Release conditions included that he consume no intoxicants and agree not to have contact with the woman or her home, records show.

On Aug. 11, Brian Davis allegedly used an old key to get into his ex-girlfriend’s home while she slept at about 4 a.m. He assaulted and strangled her into unconsciousness, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Brian Davis later admitted to Medford police that he punched her and believed she was pregnant. Police observed multiple injuries on the woman, the affidavit said.

He was indicted on charges of strangulation, fourth-degree assault, first-degree burglary and coercion.

A release agreement signed Aug. 15 shows Brian Davis was released on his own recognizance due to overcrowding at the jail.

In the third case, Brian Davis faces charges of methamphetamine possession, first-degree criminal trespassing and first-degree burglary involving a home on Satellite Drive in Medford.

The crimes allegedly were committed Aug. 12, according to an indictment.

Brian Davis signed an agreement Aug. 15 to be released on his own recognizance due to overcrowding at the jail.

Joe Davis said the burglary involved the home of his parents.

“I have personally had to call 911 on Brian — twice in the last couple of weeks,” Joe Davis said. “One for the burglary of my parents’ home and another time to report a violation of an elder abuse restraining order.”

Joe Davis said he testified against his brother before a grand jury that indicted Brian Davis in the burglary case and is also a witness against his brother regarding restraining order violations.

In the fourth case, Brian Davis faces a second-degree criminal mischief charge for allegedly breaking a window and fence at a home on Carlson Drive in Medford late on the night of Aug. 18. He told police he had been chasing a cat, according to a probable cause affidavit and indictment.

After his arrest in the fourth case, Brian Davis was initially jailed on $12,500 bail. But his bail was increased to $160,000 by Friday as the string of charges against him lengthened, according to court and jail records.

A judge also ordered that Brian Davis not be a candidate for release due to overcrowding at the jail.

Joe Davis said it’s clear the jail needs additional resources, including more space and the ability to provide drug treatment and mental health services in jail.

A 2017 audit found the 292-bed Jackson County Jail is not large enough and represents a weak link in the local criminal justice system. The jail was built four decades ago when the county’s population was half what it is today.

However, an April survey found a majority of Jackson County voters likely would not support new taxes to build and operate a 1,000-bed jail. The total annual added cost for a new, larger jail would be $218 for the owner of property assessed at $200,000.

Joe Davis said his brother has a long history of substance abuse and crime, including violence.

Brian Davis’ convictions include second-degree theft, possession of a controlled substance and fourth-degree assault in 2002; fourth-degree assault in 2005; driving under the influence of intoxicants in 2006 and 2007; and coercion in 2012, according to court records.

“It has brought home to me the tragedy of chronic substance abuse — not only to the addict’s family, but to others who come into contact with the addict,” Joe Davis said. “When it changes from addiction-based crime to violent crime, that makes clear to me the need to hold those offenders personally accountable and keep them away from victims and out of the community.”

Orr, his opponent in the November election for judge, said he did not want to comment about Brian Davis or turn the situation into a campaign issue. Orr said he wants the election to be about the merits and qualifications of the candidates.

Joe Davis started his career as a prosecutor, then worked for private law firms on civil litigation and as senior in-house counsel for Lithia Motors. More recently, he started Davis Pedrojetti with a law partner and has focused almost exclusively on family law, including divorce, custody and support cases.

Davis volunteers as a judge pro tem for Jackson County Circuit Court, handling small-claims cases and filling in for criminal arraignment and sentencing hearings when judges are gone.

Orr worked for several years as a public defense lawyer in Kansas and as a civil lawyer before becoming a prosecutor for Linn County in 2000. He became deputy district attorney in Jackson County in 2003.

Orr spent years handling child abuse cases, then juvenile dependency cases, and is now assigned to adult sex crime prosecution.

Among four contenders in a May primary, Orr finished first and Joe Davis finished second, triggering the run-off between the two in November.

They are vying to replace Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Ron Grensky, who is not seeking re-election to Position 9 on the court.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or valdous@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @VickieAldous.