- "No! No, man. Brandon... Just don't do this. Look, I-I can get better, just give me a little more time! I promise! I'm begging you, man... Show me mercy."
- —James's last words before being shot.[src]
San Diego, California
Few is known about James' life except that he was born on April 22nd 1988, was from San Diego and attended the UCSD together with Brandon, Derek and Troy. During the school vacation before the apocalypse, they had traveled down to the Sea of Cortez in Baja California to party.
James and his group are looting from a roadside taco stand in Baja California; the owners, Mr. and Mrs. Magaña, recently having been killed and dumped behind the counter. When zombies sneak inside, James and his group emerge from the kitchen to see Chris taking down the zombies.
That night, James and his group find Chris and Travis camping out on the side of the road and declare that they will be camping there as well. James, Brandon, and Derek open up to Travis and Chris, winning the trust of Chris. They offer to give Travis and Chris a ride since they don't have any gas to spare for their car. James and the others befriend Chris and they arrive at an abandoned farm. They find chickens inside the barn and start having fun chasing them. When the farmer enters the barn with a shotgun, Derek draws his firearm and refuses to stand down as Travis attempts to diffuse the situation. As a means to taunt the outnumbered farmer, James snaps the neck of the chicken he is holding, only to be shot in the leg by the farmer. He then witnesses Chris suddenly shooting and killing the farmer.
After being shot, it is revealed that the bullet went through his thigh, suggesting he had a chance of recovery. With the help of the boys, Travis stitches up the leg wound and regularly tends to James as a week goes by, asking what his pain level was on a scale of 1 to 10. One night, Travis and James have a conversation about what happened with his friend who was partying with him, Brandon, and Derek and how he was put down after he was infected. After a week, the group decides it is time to leave and load up James in the truck, despite Travis' pleas to stay longer and allow James to heal, who says he is fine but is lying out of fear of being put down. Before they can drive off the farm, the pain from the truck bouncing around is too much and he passes out. The group bring James back to the barn and Travis brandishes a gun and watched over James, to protect him from being put down. When Chris comes in to talk to Travis and offer food, Travis is tricked by his son and tackled by Chris and Derek while Brandon promptly executes James by shooting him in the head. After the boys abandon Travis on the farm, James is buried next to the Suarez family.
This list shows the victims James has killed:
- Troy (Out of Mercy)
- Mr. Magaña (Alongside Brandon and Derek)
- Mrs. Magaña (Alongside Brandon and Derek)
- Elías Suarez (Indirectly Caused)
- Himself (Indirectly Caused)
- Numerous counts of zombies
- Himself (Indirectly Caused)
- Elías Suarez (Caused)
- Derek (Caused)
- Christopher Manawa (Caused)
- Brandon Luke
After breaking a chicken's neck, he is shot in the leg by Elías. Later when his group wants to leave, they all decide to kill him, except for Travis. Chris and Derek attack Travis while Brandon kills James by shooting him in the head.
- James is implied to be the youngest member of his group, given his nickname, "Baby James."
- The casting call for this character used the name Dennis.
- He was described as "a short, shifty, southern California bro who carries himself like a guy who’s been in too many bar fights".