Alleged kidnapper returns to court

An Artemus man charged with kidnapping returned to court Friday, Sept. 1.

James M. Davis, 21, was arrested in May in connection with the kidnapping of Douglas ‘Bub’ Middleton, 23.

Middleton, 23, was reported missing from his Artemus residence on the morning of Wednesday Feb. 15. After assessing the situation, Knox County Special Operations Response Team and Kentucky State Police issued a Golden Alert for Middleton and launched a search of the area.

On March 3, 17 days after his disappearance, Middleton was found by Herald Mays and his son Herald Mays, Jr., on their Noeville Hollow property. The two had spent the day searching their property hoping to spot Middleton.

Middleton suffered multiple injuries and severe frostbite. He was transported to the University of Tennessee Medical Center where both of his legs were amputated.

Middleton told Detective Jake Wilson of the Kentucky State Police that Davis kidnapped him from his home, placed him onto an ATV, took him to a building in the woods and kept him there for 17 days. Middleton described a second person but did not have a name. Davis later told Detective Wilson that he was the lookout man during the kidnapping.

Davis and his court-appointed attorney Kara Ottis entered a plea of not guilty during his arraignment in May.

Before his pretrial conference Friday, Davis was removed from his seat and separated from the other inmates for talking and disrupting court.

Supplemental discoveries and requests for reciprocal discoveries on the case were requested by the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office. A pretrial conference was scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3.

Davis remains in the Knox County Detention Center under a $100,000 cash bond.