Raleigh County man pleads guilty to murder of retired teacher, receives life sentence

Davis, Joseph
Davis, Joseph(WVVA)
Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 1:58 PM EST
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BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) - A Shady Spring man has been sentenced to life in prison after he pleaded guilty to the first-degree murder of a retired Raleigh County teacher.

Joseph Fitzgerald Davis, 46, was arrested in June of 2020 after members of the Beaver Volunteer Fire Department responded to a structure fire and discovered the body of Margaret Ann Lilly in her home on Canterbury Drive. Davis was said to be living with Lilly at the time of her death.

West Virginia State Police located Davis in Summers County on June 6, 2020. He was found in a camper that belonged to Lilly. Inside the camper were burned items that law enforcement believed to be evidence from the crime scene.

According to a criminal complaint, Davis initially refused to cooperate, but finally admitted to police that he had shot Lilly with a gun from her nightstand after they got into an altercation. He said after he fired the gun, he panicked and went to bed.

Davis said he had no knowledge of the fire.

On Tuesday, November 29, 2022, Davis pleaded guilty to the first-degree murder of Lilly and received life in prison with mercy. This means he will be eligible for parole after 15 years.

Brian Parsons acted as prosecuting attorney on the case.

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