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    October 18: 2005: Melissa Toston, 38, was beaten to death with a cement object in a vacant garage in Detroit, MI. Serial Killer Shelly Andre Brooks was convicted and sentenced to LWOP.

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Monsters Among Us: Don William Davis shot & killed 62-year-old Jane Martha Daniel after robbing her house; Sentenced to death

From Davis’ appeal: Sharon Haley, who with her husband Mike were also victims of a burglary and neighbors of the murder victim, testified that at about 4:15 p.m. on October 12, 1990, she returned home and found that her screen door was taped open and the wooden door between the garage and the kitchen standing open. When she entered the house, she noticed that a hand gun that had previously been on the bed table was gone and that a console television was pulled away from the wall and the wires disconnected. Fearful, she called the 911 emergency number from the garage phone and went to a neighbor’s house.

Once the police arrived, they asked her to take an inventory of her property. She noted the following items missing:

several guns and appliances, a videocassette recorder, a large Sharp convection/microwave, a thirteen inch Sharp television set, both of her jewelry boxes, an Amish quilt, an older model Realistic brand stereo component set, her wedding ring, antique locket, a small gold chain, a couple of ladies watches, a Mickey Mouse watch, diamond earrings, a set of sapphire earrings, pearls, pearl earrings, and a couple of costume black onyx earrings; her husband’s two high school class rings and one college rings; a cluster ring with pearls and rubies missing, a couple of silver rings with turquoise stones and a matching silver bracelet; silver herringbone chain; while gold ring with a pink zircon; costume choker; tools from the garage; a crossbow; her husband’s collection of Harley-Davidson t-shirts & leather jacket; Yankee and Penn State t-shirts; special run bottle of Wild Turkey liquor wrapped in a wooden box; and a bottle of Crown Royal.
Mike Haley testified concerning the many firearms and weapons stolen from their home during the burglary. His list included: a 410 shotgun, a .22 rifle, Marlin Model 39-A, with a banner scope, a Ruger M-77 6 mm deer rifle, a Stevens double barrel shotgun, a .44 magnum pistol with a scope and a Winchester Model 50, 20 gauge shotgun. Also missing were a crossbow and crossbow arrows as well as numerous types of ammunition for the firearms.

At about 10:00 p.m., the same day as the Haley burglary, the Haleys’ neighbor, Richard Daniel, returned home from a business *261 trip and noticed the door of his garage into the kitchen hallway was open. As he entered the house, he saw a rice pan and bowl out in the kitchen, and it startled him when he noticed a Kool cigarette butt in the rice bowl (especially since neither he nor his wife smoked). Noting that the storeroom door was ajar, he entered to find his wife, Jane, lying on the floor in a pool of blood. She was lying with her head face down in a cardboard box towards the wall, obviously, dead. Like Mrs. Haley, Mr. Daniel called 911 for help.

Police attempted to trace Mrs. Daniel’s activities during the day. An employee of the Rogers Diagnostic Clinic testified that the victim came into the clinic around lunchtime to get a flu shot. Mrs. Daniel’s beautician, Gaye Tarron, testified that Mrs. Daniel had a standing appointment every Friday at 2:30 p.m. and had never skipped an appointment without calling first. On October 12, 1990, for the first time in ten years, Mrs. Daniel missed her appointment and did not call.

About two weeks after his wife’s death, Daniel and his daughter searched the house for missing items. They found that an expensive Lucien Piccard watch was gone as well as a couple of pearl necklaces, a gold rope necklace, and a matching gold necklace and bracelet. Also missing were a jewelry bag and a Nikon camera.

At the time of the murder, the appellant, Don Davis, was living with three roommates in a house in Bentonville. One of the roommates, Renee Davis, testified that during the time they were living together, Don Davis had been bringing stolen merchandise home. On the day of the murder, the appellant had come home sometime between 1:00 and 2:00 p.m. acting frightened, according to his roommates, telling his girlfriend and roommate, Susan Ferguson, that “somebody got hurt.” Property seen in his possession that day included a Realistic stereo, a number of guns, a black motorcycle jacket, a videocassette recorder, a television, a microwave, numerous t-shirts, and tools. Later that day the appellant allegedly admitted to Renee and Susan that “somebody had gotten killed” but emphasized that he did not do it claiming that he had been next door when the murder occurred. He said that he “didn’t know why he shot her, she was cooperating.” Among the many items of property Davis had in the car was a gun covered by a white towel. He told Renee that if she touched the “towel it would be her death sentence.”

According to Susan, Renee told appellant to get rid of the stolen property because she did not want it in her house; Davis left and returned about thirty minutes later explaining that he had dumped the property in the woods in a remote area. Four days after the murder a number of the items taken in the Haley burglary, as well as Mrs. Daniel’s house and car keys, were found in a remote area of Benton County. Renee told her other roommate, Dwayne, about Davis’s suspicious behavior and the stolen property. He urged her to go to the police.

Ultimately, the police arrived at Davis’s home to question Renee, and she and the other two roommates agreed to let them search the house. Among the many items discovered in the house was a .44 magnum Redhawk revolver, which the State later alleged was the murder weapon that killed Jane Daniel. Also discovered was the Amish quilt taken from the Haley residence. Inquiries at pawn shops in the area revealed that Davis had pawned many items taken from both the Haley and Davis residences.

By this time, Davis had fled the state by taking a bus to Las Vegas, Nevada and ultimately arriving in California. Witnesses from several pawn shops in Las Vegas testified that they had loaned the appellant money on goods he had pawned. These goods matched the description of goods stolen from the Davis and Haley households. Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation found the appellant in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and arrested him. While being arrested, Davis asked the agents for the cigarettes that had been in his car; he described them as Kool filter kings, the same brand of cigarette found at Mrs. Daniel’s house. Investigators also found Davis in possession of the black leather jacket stolen from the Haley house. Detective Steven Mark Russell testified that he travelled to Albuquerque to transport Davis back to Rogers, Arkansas, *262 and once they arrived in Rogers, Davis specifically asked for some Kool cigarettes.

Waiting for Justice: One Family Reacts to Arkansas’ Execution Stay
Waiting to Die: Arkansas Death Row Inmate Interview
Don William Davis v State of Arkansas 1993
Murderpedia: Don William Davis
State of Arkansas hoping to execute Don Davis by lethal injection if SCOTUS overturns ruling
Man convicted of killing Rogers woman transported to execution site
Last meal request granted for Don Davis

INMATE INFORMATION

ADC Number: 000920
Name: Davis, Don W
Race: CAUCASIAN
Sex: MALE
Hair Color: BROWN
Eye Color: GREEN
Height: 75 inches
Weight: 220 lbs.
Birth Date: 11/23/1962
Initial Receipt Date: 03/10/1992
Current Facility: Cummins Unit
Facility Address: 3001 Hwy. 388, Grady, AR 71644-0500 Map
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 500 Grady, AR 71644-0500
Custody Classification: SK
Good Time Class: I-C
PE / TE Date*: Death
Total time*:
* may be affected by other laws and regulations

Aliases
Don The Juan

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