One Year After His Death, Trooper Joel Davis Remembered

One Year After His Death, Trooper Joel Davis Remembered

Posted: Updated: Jul 09, 2018 06:04 PM

Monday marked one year since Trooper Joel Davis and Nichole Walters were shot and killed.

Police say Nichole Walters was allegedly shot and killed by her husband, Justin Walters, at their home just outside Theresa on July 9 last year. 

Police say Walters also allegedly shot state Trooper Joel Davis when he arrived at the scene. Davis later died at Samaritan Medical Center in Watertown. 

Monday was a solemn and difficult anniversary for Davis's friends and colleagues.

"There's not a day that goes by that you don't encounter a situation or something happens and the first thing you go to do is pick up your phone and send Joel a text," said John Gleason, a Jefferson County Sheriff's Deputy. 

Gleason and Joel Davis worked together at the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and Davis was a groomsman in Gleason's wedding. Gleason said this last year without Davis has been tough.

"He was somebody I looked up a great deal. I know I speak for the Sheriff's office, we all looked up to him even when he went to state police," Gleason said.

Just last week, a similar situation happened when state Trooper Nicholas Clark from the Southern Tier was shot and killed when responding to a suicidal man.

"Our hearts are heavy with the passing of Trooper Clark and then of course our one year anniversary and I think the reality is this is a very dangerous job to begin with, but also that we need to rely on each other," said Trooper Jack Keller, spokesman for Troop D of the state police, the troop Davis belonged to.

Over the last year, there have been several tributes and memorials in honor of Trooper Davis. Including a bridge in Philadelphia which will be named after him. (Editor's note - our broadcast story and an earlier version of our online story incorrectly said the bridge is in Theresa.)

"The community support has been phenomenal, seeing thin blue line flags on citizens doors and up in the Indian River district everyone is bending over backwards to show support," said Carrie Mangino, Jefferson County Sheriff's Deputy.

Walters has been charged with first- and second- degree murder and has been held at the Jefferson County jail without bail since the shooting. 

He pleaded not guilty to his wife and Trooper Davis' deaths last November and his lawyer is expected to use an insanity defense. 

He'll be evaluated by an expert before his trial.

Jefferson County's District Attorney Kristyna Mills says a trial could start this fall. 

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