Your District Attorney
James C. “Jay” Gaither, Jr. graduated from Newton-Conover High School, where he was the captain of the football and wrestling teams. He received his undergraduate degree from Davidson College and received his Juris Doctorate from California Western School of Law in San Diego, CA. While attending law school, Jay was awarded the American Jurisprudence Award for Excellence in the area of criminal law. After graduating from law school, Jay returned to his hometown and began his private practice which would span 10 years.
Jay was elected District Attorney of the 25th Prosecutorial District in November of 2002 and re-elected in 2006 and 2010. Since taking office January 1, 2003, Jay has dramatically reduced the backlog of pending cases, implemented Infractions Court, the Alive At 25 program, the Worthless Check program which has returned over $1,000,000 to local merchants and individuals, the Habitual Felon Task Force, Domestic Violence Court and Special DWI Courts. Jay successfully drafted and helped pass Rachel’s Law in 2005 and Zahra’s Law in 2011. Rachel’s Law increased the punishment for shooting into occupied dwellings and vehicles and Zahra’s Law makes it a felony offense to disturb or dismember a corpse. Jay is currently working with the North Carolina Legislature on initiatives and legislation designed to make our communities safer.
Jay and his wife Beth live in Hickory and have four children, Amelia, Andrew, William and Nicholas. Jay is a member of First Presbyterian Church in Hickory and volunteers his time with the Grandview PTA. Jay is on the North Carolina Conference of District Attorney’s Legislative Committee, the Board of Directors of the Hickory Soup Kitchen, the Children’s Advocacy Center of Catawba County, the Children’s Advocacy Center of Caldwell County, the Child Protections Council, Options of Burke County, Caldwell County Domestic Violence Task Force, Catawba County Repay, Caldwell County Repay and the Drug Treatment Court to name a few.