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Bobby Lee CUTTS Jr.





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Police officer
Number of victims: 1 + 1
Date of murder: June 14, 2007
Date of arrest: 9 days after
Date of birth: May 21, 1977
Victim profile: His girlfriend, Jessie Marie Davis, 26 (near-term pregnant)
Method of murder: Struck her in the throat with his elbow
Location: Lake Township, Ohio, USA
Status: Sentenced to 57 years to life in prison on February 26, 2008

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Disappearance and murder of Jessie Davis

Jessie Marie Davis (1981, Waco — June 14, 2007, Lake Township) was the murdered, near-term pregnant 26-year-old Ohio woman first reported missing from her Lake Township home on June 13, 2007. The case drew an extraordinary response from the American media.

On June 23, 2007, Bobby Lee Cutts, Jr., the father of her 2˝-year-old son and unborn daughter was charged in the case. A high-school friend of Cutts, Myisha Lynne Ferrell, was also later charged.

Disappearance, recovery of body and funeral

Davis was last seen shopping at Acme Fresh Market, a local grocery store. Her mother reported her missing on June 13, 2007, when she found her 2-year-old grandson home alone, with bleach spilled on the floor and furniture broken and overturned.

In televised reports, Davis' mother reported that the 2-year old kept stating, "Mommy broke the table" and "Mommy's in the rug". At the time of her disappearance, Davis was a resident of Lake Township in Stark County, Ohio.

A search of the area involving "thousands of volunteers" including members of Texas EquuSearch, was launched. On June 23. Davis' body was recovered in a wooded area in neighboring Summit County, in Hampton Hills Metro Park, a park surrounded by but distinct from Cuyahoga Valley National Park, in the vicinity of Cuyahoga Falls.

The first reliable website to pin down the widely reported rumor that Cutts had assisted in locating the body of Davis was that of America's Most Wanted: "AMW sources have confirmed that Bobby Cutts Jr., Jessie's boyfriend and the father of her 2-year-old son Blake, led law enforcement to the body."

The post-mortem was performed by the Summit County authorities (as this is where the body was recovered). Her body was reported to be in an "advanced state of decomposition".

The autopsy was performed the following day, confirming her identity. Investigators believe Davis was murdered on June 14, but confirmation of this as well as the precise means of death await the results of forensic tests.

Bob Budgake, director of the Stark-Summit County crime lab indicated that the lab was "working overtime and weekends to process evidence from the Jessie Davis case, two other recent murders and other investigations."

A single-casket funeral was held June 30 at the House of the Lord, a regional megachurch, with subsequent interment at Greenlawn Memorial Park, both in the Akron area; the arrangements were handled by the Silva-Hostetler Funeral Home.

Members of the Cutts family attended; Davis' son, Blake, however, did not as the "family felt the toddler had already been through enough." Approximately 750 people attended the service.

Her mother, Patricia Porter, said at the service that her daughter had been a committed God-fearing person after doing overseas missionary work but at some point "she took a wrong turn somewhere."

Porter said her daughter realized in church a few weeks ago that she needed to reform her life.

Prior to the funeral, hundreds paid their final respects for Davis with a candlelight vigil held outside her Lake Township duplex and during calling hours at the House of the Lord Church.

Arrests and arraignment

Bobby Lee Cutts, Jr.

Davis' boyfriend, Bobby Lee Cutts, Jr., was arrested and charged with two counts of murder. Cutts was a police officer in the Canton, Ohio Police Department, and the father of Davis' son and unborn daughter.

Cutts (b. May 21, 1977 in Canton) is the son of Renee Horne and Bobby Cutts, Sr. He was married to another woman at the time, from whom he was separated. According to Cutts, the couple had discussed a divorce. His wife formally filed for divorce four days after his arrest. Other allegations of abuse had previously been leveled against Cutts in Stark county.

For much of the period leading to the discovery of the body, local law enforcement told the news media that Cutts was not a suspect, nor even a "person of interest". At the time of his arrest, Cutts was a resident of Plain Township in Stark County.

In the only interview Cutts has granted to the press to date was published in The Repository. This was with Todd Porter, a sportswriter with whom Cutts had previous contact. Cutts denied he was involved.

Porter writes: "Cutts looked tired, sullen and depressed. He openly wept during an exclusive interview with The Repository from his home." (an audio/video copy of this interview, posted on YouTube is available from the linked page in the preceding footnote)

Bobby Cutts Jr. is believed to have been active on a dating site during the time Davis was missing and allegedly logged in just days before his arrest on June 23.

Myisha Lynne Ferrell

Bobby Cutts and Myisha Ferrell graduated together in 1995 from GlenOak High School.

The police raided Ferrell's apartment on June 23, where they seized cleaning supplies and duct tape, among other things. The Canton Repository reported that:

A source close to Cutts told The Repository Saturday that Cutts said he asked a female friend help him remove Davis’ body from her home. Cutts reportedly said Davis’ death was not his doing, but he thought no one would believe him and decided to hide the body.

The impression that Ferrell was involved in moving the body is reinforced by the statements made at the court hearing of July 2.

Ferrell was arrested and charged with obstruction of justice. At the time of her arrest, she was employed part time at a local Denny's; she was also undergoing eviction proceedings from her apartment.


Cutts and Ferrell were arraigned on June 25. Judge John Poulos set Cutts' bond at $5,000,000; Ferrell's bail was set at $500,000. That same day, Cutts was suspended without pay from the Canton Police Department; previously, he had been on paid administrative leave.

Subsequent court proceedings

Each appeared at separate court hearings on July 2, before Judge Richard J. Kubilus. These preliminary hearings were meant for the prosecution to present sufficient probable cause to hold the accused. The complexity of the case, and the time frame of the arrests made this necessary as insufficient time existed to obtain an indictment. However, both defendants waived the preliminary hearing, and the case went to the grand jury. Cutts is represented by Bradley Iams, while Ferrell is represented John Alexander, Jr. of Akron. A request for bail reduction was made on behalf of Ferrell, but this was refused after the prosecutor said "Myisha Ferrell 'helped deposit the body' and lied to police officers several times throughout the investigation."

On November 5, 2007, as her trial was about to begin, Ferrell agreed to plead guilty to charges of obstruction of justice and complicity to gross abuse of a corpse for her role in Davis' disappearance and death. Under the terms of her plea agreement, Ferrell was sentenced to two years in prison—a sentence that may be lengthened unless Ferrell testifies honestly at the trial of Cutts. The judge said he would consider releasing Ferrell on probation after one year.

Trial of Bobby Lee Cutts, Jr.

Cutts' trial began on February 4, 2008. On February 11, Cutts took the stand and described Davis's death. He said that he struggled with her in her house and struck her in the throat with his elbow. Cutts testified that he tried to resuscitate Davis after she became unconscious. He also said that he did not call 911 because Davis didn't have a telephone in her house and he didn't know how to turn on her cell phone.

On February 15, 2008, Cutts was convicted of the murder of Davis and the aggravated murder of her unborn child. He was also found guilty of associated charges, including aggravated burglary; gross abuse of a corpse; and child endangering. Cutts faced the possibility of life imprisonment or a death sentence. The jury, in its penalty phase, declined to impose the death penalty. The judge sentenced Cutts to life in prison with no eligibility for parole until 54 years of his sentence has been served

Final verdict and sentence

Bobby Cutts, Jr. was sentenced on February 27, 2008, to life imprisonment without the eligibility of parole for 57 years. He must serve time for each of his convicted murders consecutively, with additional minor concurrently with the murder convictions.


Killer ex-cop gets 57 to life after jury spares him

By Mallory Simon and Ann O'Neill -

February 27, 2008

Jurors spared the life of a former Canton, Ohio, police officer who killed his pregnant girlfriend and tearfully asked them for mercy. A judge then sentenced him Wednesday to 57 years to life in prison.

Bobby Lee Cutts Jr., 30, will be 87 by the time he becomes eligible for parole.

He stared straight ahead as the jury of six men and six women recommended that his life be spared.

He and his lawyer teared up as the jurors were polled about their decision.

Judge Charles E. Brown added to the sentence, taking other counts into consideration after hearing victim impact statements from the parents and sisters of victim Jessie Marie Davis.

She was 26 and nine months pregnant when she disappeared last June. Her body, and that of her unborn child, were found 10 days later at a state park in northeastern Ohio.

Whitney Davis, Jessie's sister, directed her anger and grief at Cutts. "You got rid of someone that was an inconvenience. I hate you."

She continued: ""You used and manipulated her over and over and still you sit there and you are not crying. I don't believe that you are sorry for what you did. I believe that you are sorry that you got caught up in all your lies. I don't know that you would know the truth."

Cutts took off his eyeglasses as Davis' father, Ned, addressed him: "Don't even look at me."

"Your honor he violently murdered her," the anguished father continued. "Five-foot-four, nine months pregnant, that baby could have been delivered."

And, tears rolled down Cutts' face as Davis' mother, Patricia Porter, spoke of her grief. "There are mornings I have to cover her picture up, when I can't get out of bed."

She continued, "I serve an amazing God, Bobby. A God that forgives and heals and restores people. And all I know today is that I do forgive you, and I know it is only through him that I am able to do that."

But she turned the other cheek: "I may not have family to go home to after this, but I pray that you make a way for him to get out of there and begin a new life, and to be able to hold his son."

Porter, who is raising Blake, told Cutts the child "knows what you did. You would not believe the stories he has told us."

When his time came, Cutts offered no statement, no testimonials to his character.

On February 15, the same jury found Cutts guilty of murdering Jessie Davis and their baby, who was to be named Chloe.

It was Chloe's death that made Cutts eligible for the death penalty. Jurors convicted him of two counts of aggravated murder -- for terminating a pregnancy and taking her life during the commission of a felony.

All the members of the jury are white, as was Davis. Cutts is black.

Cutts, who has maintained Davis' death was the result of an accidental elbow to the neck, asked the jury to spare his life and offered a tearful apology at his sentencing hearing Tuesday.

"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I'm asking you to spare my life," he said. "To imagine that I was responsible for the death of Jessie, the mother of my children and my unborn daughter, is beyond any words that I can express," Cutts added, reading from a handwritten statement.

"Words cannot bring them back, nor can they erase the pain I've caused, but I want to apologize," he said.

Cutts' lawyer, Fernando Mack, had urged jurors to recommend the lowest available penalty -- 25 years to life -- to allow him to play a limited role in his other children's lives.

Mack acknowledged that many of the jurors might still be angry with Cutts for leaving his 2˝-year-old son, home alone for more than a day while his mother lay dead in a field.

But sentencing Cutts to death hurts Blake even more, he argued. "That is still Blake's father, like it or not. The prosecutor here wants you to kill Blake's father, so now he'll have no parents."

Stark County Assistant Prosecutor Dennis Barr attacked Cutts' character and his sincerity on the stand. A police officer should have known better, he said.

"Bobby Cutts took an oath to serve and protect," the prosecutor argued. "But on June 14, 2007, Bobby Cutts did not serve and protect. He destroyed."

According to testimony, Cutts rolled Davis' body in a comforter and dumped it in a park, leaving toddler son Blake in the house alone at the crime scene in a soiled diaper.

"Mommy's in the rug," Blake told police, according to testimony.

Prosecutors charged during the trial that Cutts buckled under the financial pressure of additional child support, killed Davis, and then created a cover story to try to get away with it.

After the sentencing, prosecutors -- no longer restricted in their comments by a gag order -- told reporters Cutts led authorities to Davis' body, but no deal was made in return.

Davis' father, Ned Davis, told reporters, "Our family, in one sense, was fortunate that we had some legal resolution because I know along with this, there are families out there that don't ever get an answer. It doesn't make it any less painful, but at least this part of it is resolved."



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