City of Mount Pleasant
Central Michigan University student James Eric Davis has been charged with killing his parents.

Central Michigan University student charged with murdering his parents

March 6, 2018
Authorities say James Eric Davis, Jr., 19, shot his mother and father to death in his residence hall on the Mount Pleasant campus.

A 19-year-old student at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant has been charged with fatally shooting his parents in his residence hall room.

The Detroit Free Press reports that James Eric Davis Jr., 19, was arrested early Saturday morning after a daylong police manhunt that involved more than 100 officers. He has been charged with two counts of murder, police say, and was being held on a $3 million bond.

Police say that when Davis was apprehended near a railroad track, he appeared to be hypothermic and disoriented, so he was taken to an area hospital for treatment.

Davis is accused of killing his parents, James Eric Davis Sr. and Diva Jeneen Davis, early Friday morning in his room in Campbell Hall. A gun found at the scene was registered to the father, a Bellwood, Ill., police officer.

Campus Police Chief Bill Yeagley says the younger Davis can be seen on surveillance video with the gun  in the Campbell Hal parking lot before he entered the residence hall. Police say Davis Jr.'s parents had picked him up Friday morning from a hospital where he had been brought for suspected drug use. His parents had planned to take him home.

According to a timeline on the university's web site, Davis Jr.'s interactions with the police began Thursday, when he told a university community police officer that someone he knew had a gun and was going to hurt him. After police investigated, officers informed Davis there was no threat.

Early Friday morning, Davis Jr. was seen by officers in the area with a number of suitcases and bags, acting in a fashion "that is not reasonable or logical."

Yeagley says an officer then asked Davis Jr. to call his parents and talked with the student's mother, telling her what they observed and expressing concern this behavior may be related to drugs. 

Police took Davis, Jr., to a local hospital for monitoring and treatment; later Friday morning, he was discharged to his parents. The three went to Davis, Jr.'s residence hall room.

Based on a review of surveillance video, combined with witness interviews, police say Davis Jr., left the residence hall, went to the family vehicle and returned with a handgun. Shortly after, police responded to calls of shots fired in the residence hall.

Davis, Jr., grew up in Plainfield, Ill,, about 40 miles southwest of Chicago.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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