Guilty verdict, life sentence in Jackson County sexual battery on a child case

MARIANNA – A man found guilty Friday of holding a teenager against her will while he sexually battered her has been sentenced to Life in prison without the possibility of parole, State Attorney Larry Basford announced.

Thomas Leroy Davis, 45, of Greenwood, was found guilty Friday of Sexual Battery Upon a Child 12 years of Age or Older but Under 18 Years of Age, and False Imprisonment. Circuit Court Judge Timothy Register sentenced the defendant to Life without parole on the first charge and 5 years in prison on the second, with the sentences to run concurrently.

Thomas Davis

Jackson County Chief Prosecutor Shalla Jefcoat put on witnesses who provided testimony and evidence that the defendant committed the offense against the victim in April, 2020, inside a home.

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Testimony showed that someone who heard the victim yelling for help rushed to her aid and the defendant fled. He was picked up a short distance away by Jackson County Sheriff’s Office deputies.

The jury took about 2 ½ hours to reach its verdict of guilty as charged. The defendant has four prior felony convictions and previously went to prison.

Basford thanked the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and the Gulf Coast Children’s Advocacy Center for the case it put together, as well as the witness who responded to the victim’s cries for help.

For more information, contact Mike Cazalas at, or call 850-381-7454.