James William Warner was a kind man who impacted the lives of everyone he met. His friends and family loved him deeply, which made his death at only twenty-two years old all the more devastating. Sadly, nothing could be done to bring him back to those grieving his loss.
The loss of James was very difficult for his family, but no one felt the pain more than his loyal dog. His mother, Christy West Warner, shared a heartbreaking photo of the dog at her son’s funeral. The pooch refused to leave the gravesite and had to be carried away by someone else.
“It’s like I had an out-of-body experience. I just collapsed. My whole world was broken into a million pieces,” she said to the Tennessean. “Every second I stayed with Will was a joy. He was just larger than life. He was just a good boy. He was so personable.”
The son of a Tennessee judge was arrested after James’ death was deemed murder. The suspect is a 25-year-old man who shot and killed James in cold blood before leaving his body to rot in the scorching Tennessee heat. Because James’ body had already begun to decompose by the time police discovered it, Christy and her husband, James Robert, were forced to bury him as soon as possible. They were so rushed that they weren’t able to purchase a proper coffin for their beloved child.
“We’ve been robbed of everything. Every last ounce of closure or peace that we could possibly get from saying goodbye, we didn’t get to do,” she added.
Ace, James’ dog, was the only one who showed his sadness. Ace was in tears. During the funeral, Ace never left his master’s side. The dog then lay down on top of the pile to be as near to his owner as possible, and when his master was buried and the ground around him was laid, he lay down on top of it to be as close to him as possible. James also took Ace to church with him.
“This dog is so special, and Will was so proud of him,” James’s mother stated.
Todd Warner, the nephew of Tennessee state representative Todd Warner, called James a man who “loved life and loved people.”
The official said, “It’s just a tragic ending to something that should’ve never happened.”
“He’s a typical country boy,” Warner said of his nephew. He worked on the family farm and helped raise chicken for Tyson Foods. While growing up in a rural environment, he also handled cattle and grew row crops with large equipment.
The son of the judge who supposedly shot the young man was already wanted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for shooting someone else in Bedford County.