Douglas Matthews Florida Death Row

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Douglas Matthews Florida Death Row

Douglas Matthews Florida Death Row

February 20, 2008, Daytona Beach Police Department officers responded
to a call that a man was outside an apartment building asking for help.
When they arrived on the scene, officers discovered Kirk Zoeller
sitting in front of an open apartment door, nonresponsive, covered in
blood, and gasping for air with blood pulsing from his neck. The
officers entered the apartment and found blood covering the floor and
walls. While clearing the apartment, officers discovered Donna
Trujillo’s body on the bed in the bedroom. The officer who found
Trujillo testified that she could not see her body from the main room of
the apartment, which consisted of an open kitchen and living room, and
that she stood in the bedroom doorway for 10 to 15 seconds before
noticing the body because most of it was covered with a pillow. Zoeller
and Trujillo were pronounced dead at the scene. According to the medical
examiner, both victims had been stabbed to death.
Later that
evening, acting on a tip, officers went to the home of Theresa Teague.
Teague allowed the officers into her home and consented to a search.
Inside, officers saw bloody sneakers and jeans in plain view on the
floor and found Matthews, dressed only in boxers and socks, hiding under
a pile of clothes in the bedroom. Officers obtained and executed a
search warrant for Teague’s home and found a bloody shirt in a clear
plastic bag and Kirk Zoeller’s wallet together inside a different bag.
Matthews
made a statement to police detectives outside of Teague’s house, which
Matthews’ trial counsel admitted into evidence at trial. Matthews told
detectives that Kirk Zoeller killed Donna Trujillo and attacked him over
drugs. Once detectives informed Matthews that Zoeller was dead,
Matthews stated that he killed Zoeller in self-defense.
Matthews
was indicted for the first-degree premeditated and felony murders of
Kirk Zoeller and Donna Trujillo and for burglary while armed.
During
the guilt phase, Justin Wagner, who sold drugs from and was present in
Trujillo’s apartment when she and Kirk Zoeller were killed, testified.
Wagner explained that Matthews, Zoeller, and Trujillo went into the
bedroom of Trujillo’s apartment together. A few minutes later, Wagner
said that he heard everyone “freaking out” and screaming and saw
Matthews chase Zoeller out of the bedroom with a knife. Wagner testified
that Matthews was clearly the aggressor. Before Wagner fled the
apartment in fear for his life, he testified that he saw Matthews on top
of Zoeller, repeatedly stabbing Zoeller and pulling him back as
Zoeller, who was begging for help, tried to flee the apartment. Wagner
also testified that he saw Matthews with a big buck knife on the day
Zoeller and Trujillo were killed and that they had used Matthews’ knife
to cut crack cocaine together earlier that day. Wagner further testified
that, after witnessing Matthews attack Zoeller, he fled to Theresa
Teague’s home but hid outside when he heard Matthews arrive. While
hiding, Wagner said he saw Matthews remove his shirt and put it in a
clear plastic bag outside of Teague’s house.
Theresa Teague also
testified to incriminating statements that Matthews made to her on the
night Kirk Zoeller and Donna Trujillo were killed. Teague said that,
before the police arrived at her home looking for Matthews, she and
Matthews went outside after they saw police and helicopter search lights
and Matthews said, “That’s for me.” When Teague pressed him for
details, she said that Matthews told her that he “ran into a couple of
people that probably wish they had not run into him that evening” and
that he “just eliminated a couple of problems.” In addition, Teague
testified that she had given Matthews a knife about nine to twelve
inches long days before Zoeller and Trujillo were killed.
The
crime scene investigator testified that he collected the bloody
sneakers, bloody jeans, bloody shirt, and Kirk Zoeller’s wallet from
Theresa Teague’s home and that he found a traffic citation with
Matthews’ name on it inside the pocket of the jeans. He also testified
that he took pictures of Matthews the day of his arrest and that
Matthews did not have any knife cuts or fresh injuries on his body.
Testimony
linked the bloody clothes and shoes to Matthews. The DNA analyst
testified that “wearer” DNA on the bloody shirt and sneakers matched
Matthews’ DNA and that the blood on the shirt, jeans, and sneakers
matched Kirk Zoeller’s. She also testified that swabs from four of
Matthews’ fingers revealed blood that matched Zoeller’s and that one of
the swabs also contained blood that was a possible match to Donna
Trujillo’s. The police officer who issued the traffic citation found in
the pocket of the bloody jeans identified Matthews as the person to whom
he had issued the citation.
The medical examiner testified that
Kirk Zoeller had been stabbed to death and that he had 24 stab wounds to
the head, neck, chest, and back and two defensive wounds on his
forearms. She testified that Zoeller’s stab wounds were up to six inches
deep and that one wound was inflicted with such force that the tip of
the knife broke off in his skull. The medical examiner also testified
that Donna Trujillo had been similarly stabbed to death and that she had
11 stab wounds to the head, neck, and chest. The medical examiner
testified that, in her experience, it was unusual for stabbing victims
to have stab wounds to their heads. She also testified that both victims
would have felt pain as they were being stabbed and would have remained
conscious for a period of minutes before passing out due to blood loss
and then would have remained alive for an additional period of minutes
before their deaths.
Matthews testified that he acted in
self-defense. He admitted to doing drugs on the day Donna Trujillo and
Kirk Zoeller were killed and stated that he went to Trujillo’s apartment
with Justin Wagner to trade cocaine for morphine pills. However,
Matthews testified that Zoeller and Trujillo were arguing and went into
the bedroom together while he stayed in the living area of the
apartment’s main room with Wagner. Matthews said it then got quiet and
Zoeller came out of the bedroom into the main room of the apartment and
started a fight with him over drugs. Matthews denied having a knife and
denied that Theresa Teague ever gave him a knife. Matthews testified
that Zoeller had the knife and that he took it away from Zoeller while
they were fighting. At some point during their fight, Matthews said that
he pinned Zoeller against the wall and saw Donna Trujillo’s body on the
bed. At that point, Matthews testified that he became afraid for his
life because he saw what Kirk Zoeller did to Donna Trujillo. Then,
Matthews testified that Zoeller kicked him and he “blacked out,”
“snapped,” and started swinging at, but not stabbing, Zoeller. Matthews
also claimed that several of the photographs in evidence taken by the
crime scene investigator showed injuries he suffered during his fight
with Zoeller, including a cut on his abdomen.
In addition,
Matthews testified that he dropped the knife inside the front door of
Donna Trujillo’s apartment and fled to Theresa Teague’s home, where he
washed the blood off of his body in her bathroom. On cross-examination,
Matthews acknowledged that he failed to include in his statement to
detectives that he was injured during his fight with Kirk Zoeller and
that he had “blacked out.” But he denied taking Kirk Zoeller’s wallet
and testified that he did not know how his bloody shirt ended up in a
bag with Zoeller’s wallet inside Teague’s home. Matthews also admitted
to removing his clothes, hiding from police, and telling Teague that the
police and helicopter lights were for him. However, he denied that he
made the statements to Teague about “run[ning] into a couple of people”
and “eliminat[ing] a couple of problems.”
The jury found Matthews
guilty of the first-degree premeditated and felony murder of Kirk
Zoeller, of the lesser-included offense of manslaughter of Donna
Trujillo, and of burglary while armed.

Douglas Matthews 2019 Information

douglas matthews 2019 photos
ID Photo
DC Number:V29877
Name:MATTHEWS, DOUGLAS B
Race:BLACK
Sex:MALE
Birth Date:08/26/1981
Initial Receipt Date:08/13/2010
Current Facility:UNION C.I.
Current Custody:MAXIMUM
Current Release Date:PENDING

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