Dayton man sentenced to life in prison for murder

The Fernley Reporter

A Dayton man was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole for the 2016 murder of his sister-in-law.

James Leo Hamrick

James Leo Hamrick, 56, of Dayton, was sentenced on December 4, after previously being found guilty of first degree murder with the use of a deadly weapon on a person over 60 years of age and destruction of evidence, following a jury trial in Yerington in September 2017.

The Third Judicial District Court sentenced Hamrick on the first degree murder charge to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 20 years has been served. Hamrick was sentenced to an additional consecutive term of 15 years in prison with parole eligibility after five years for the use of the deadly weapon. Hamrick was sentenced to 364 days in the Lyon County Jail for the destruction of evidence charge which was imposed concurrent to the other charges.


This case occurred on April 28, 2016, when Hamrick murdered Toni Marie Davis, 60 years of age, at their home in Dayton. Hamrick was at home alone with Davis for a short time before he killed her.

Lewis Hamrick, brother of the defendant and husband of the victim, returned to the house in Dayton a short time later and discovered that both Hamrick and Toni Marie Davis were gone. Davis never returned and she was reported missing to local law enforcement.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, Detective Division and the Nevada Division of Investigations investigated the case. During the course of the investigation they were led to the naked body of Toni Marie Davis. It took nearly three weeks of searching and investigation before law enforcement found Davis’ body.

Hamrick was arrested and charged with the murder and destruction of evidence for hiding the body. He also hid the murder weapon, which was a small caliber handgun.

Davis’ husband testified at the sentencing hearing, describing her for the judge and explaining to the Court the significant loss that he and Davis’ family have suffered because of the murder. He described Davis as a mother, grandmother and sister, and a good person. The two had been married for 20 years.

Davis’ sister also testified at the sentencing hearing.

When the judge imposed sentence, he made a finding of the significant impact this murder has had on Lewis Hamrick and the other family and of the significant impact on the community of Dayton during the weeks of exhaustive searching for Ms. Davis.

“While nothing can change the pain and loss felt by the spouse, family and friends of Ms. Davis in this case, we hope that this lengthy sentence will provide some closure,” District Attorney Stephen Rye said.

Jeremy Reichenberg and Brian Haslem prosecuted this case for the Lyon County District Attorney. The case was investigated by the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office and the Nevada Division of Investigations. For further information, contact Jeremy Reichenberg.

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