Don Davis was sentenced to death by the State of Arkansas for the murder of a woman during a robbery. According to court documents Don Davis broke into the victims home and in the process of robbing her would shoot the woman dead. Don Davis would be convicted and sentenced to death.
Arkansas Death Row Inmate List
Don Davis 2021 Information
ADC Number 000920
Name: Davis, Don W
Sex MALE Hair Color BROWN Eye Color GREEN
Height 75 inches Weight 250 lbs.
Birth Date 11/23/1962
Initial Receipt Date 03/10/1992
Facility Varner Supermax
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Arkansas police said Friday a death row inmate whose execution was halted last year was taken to the hospital after prison officials told investigators he had attempted suicide.
An Arkansas State Police spokesman said investigators responded Thursday afternoon to a report of an attempted suicide by convicted murderer Don Davis. State Police spokesman Bill Sadler said Davis, 55, had been taken to an area hospital with unspecified injuries.
“There had been a conversation between Davis and a correctional officer that led to other personnel being summoned to the cell area. As these individuals began to communicate with Davis, he produced what was reported to be a razor blade and he put it to his throat,” Sadler said.
Investigators found a note that was believed to be written by Davis in the inmate’s cell, Sadler said. Sadler said the incident is not being investigated by State Police because the agency doesn’t investigate attempted suicides.
Sadler said Davis had been stabilized at the hospital, but his condition Friday wasn’t immediately clear. The Department of Correction would only confirm that security and medical staff responded to an incident involving Davis. Correction Department spokesman Solomon Graves said Davis was in the custody of the Varner unit, but did not say whether that meant the inmate remained hospitalized. Graves cited state law and department policy limiting what information can be released about inmates.
Davis was convicted in 1992 of killing Jane Daniel after breaking into her Rogers home in 1990 and shooting her with a .44-caliber revolver he found there.
He was one of eight inmates Arkansas planned to execute over an 11-day period last year. His execution and three others were halted by court rulings. Arkansas ultimately put four inmates to death. Arkansas scheduled the executions before its supply of midazolam , a sedative used in the lethal injection process, expired. Arkansas has since found a new supply of midazolam, but is lacking another of the three drugs it uses for executions.
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The facts before us are these: 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.
Violette Hnilica, forensic pathologist with the Little Rock Medical Examiners Office, also testified at the trial. After conducting an autopsy she concluded that Jane Daniel had died from a contact wound resulting from an execution-style murder by a large caliber weapon to the back of her head.
Jeff Beck, a latent prints examiner with the State Crime Laboratory, testified he had tested fingerprints found on the masking tape holding the inner garage door open at the Haley residence and concluded that the prints belonged to Davis.
Berwin Monroe, Chief of the Firearms and Tool Marks section and an explosives analyst with the Arkansas State Crime Lab, also testified for the prosecution. He performed tests on the fragments of a metal jacket bullet removed from the victim and determined that this bullet was shot from the .44 magnum revolver discovered at Davis’s place of residence. State Crime Laboratory Firearms Examiner, Ronald Andrejack, corroborated Monroe’s findings.