State of Missouri v. Doyle James Williams

652 S. W. 2D 102

Doyle James Williams was executed on April 10, 1996

Case Facts:  In Aril 1980 Doyle Williams and John Morgan burglarized the medical offices of Dr. A. H. Domann in Auxvasse, Missouri taking, among other items, blank prescription pads. Shortly thereafter, defendant and Morgan went to Morgan’s trailer home and in the presence of Kerry Brummett, discussed means of utilizing the prescription pads. At that time, Brummett, who was Morgan’s roommate, saw the prescription pads which bore Dr. Domann’s name. Later in the day, defendant made an effort to pass forged prescriptions in a Columbia drug store, but was caught, arrested and charged and later convicted of attempt to obtain a controlled substance by fraud.

Faced with the charge arising from the forged prescription, defendant was convinced he could “beat the rap” and confided to Morgan that he could avoid conviction “if the doctor didn’t testify that he hadn’t signed the prescription” – a presage for the death of Dr. Domann.

Sometime later, on October 7, 1980, Williams revealed to Morgan that he had killed Dr. Domann and placed his body in a Callaway County clay pit. On October 8, 1980 defendant suggested that Kerry Brummett should meet the same fate as Dr. Domann in retribution for having testified against Morgan in forgery charge proceedings.

The next day, October 9, 1980 Betty Coleman, a friend of Doyle Williams arranged for a date with Kerry Brummett in Jefferson City. She drove the unsuspecting Brummett to a deserted area in Callaway County adjacent to the Missouri River for an early morning rendezvous with Morgan and Williams. Brummett was dragged from the auto by Williams and Morgan. They beat and kicked Brummett about the head and body. Williams used a .357 Magnum to beat Brummett. Using a pair of handcuffs he had previously borrowed from a Auxvasse police officer friend, Williams, with Morgan’s help, was able to bind Brummett’s hands behind his back and force him, bleeding and dazed, into the trunk of Coleman’s auto.

Brummet was then driven to a location near the river bank and pulled from the car. Morgan obtained a bumper jack and rope to serve as a body weight. Williams continued his bodily attack on the handcuffed victim, striking him in the back and sending him stumbling down the riverbank toward the Missouri River. Brummett continued to resist and assured the men he would not testify against them. Brummett ran directly into the river and, still handcuffed, sank beneath the surface, able to rise twice. As Brummett surfaced for the second time, Williams ordered Morgan to shoot him. Morgan responded by firing over the victim’s head. Williams made an attempt to retrieve the body and remove the handcuffs which could be traced, but he failed in his effort. The body was retrieved seven days later on a sandbar.

Cause of the victim’s death was drowning. His scalp had been lacerated by a blunt instrument. At the point of assault, the victim’s eye glasses and plastic name tag were found. Brummett’s gold chain, traces of the victim of blood, hair and the brand of cigarettes smoked by him were found in the car used by defendant and Morgan.

Defendant was convicted when Morgan later testified against him.

Legal Chronology

1967
06/29 – (Baltimore, Maryland) Williams pled guilty to Interstate Transportation of a Stolen Motor Vehicle and received a sentence of 2 – ½ years probation.

1970
06/02 – Willaims pled guilty in Greensboro, North Carolina to Interstate Transportation of a Stolen Vehicle. He received suspended imposition of sentence and was placed on one year probation to run consecutive with sentence on Jun 29, 1967.

1976
09/27 – Williams pled guilty to eleven counts of Interstate Transportation and Concealment of Stolen Motor Vehicles. Willaims was paroled from this confinement on November 20, 1978. That parole was revoked in October of 1980.

1980
4/? – Doyle Williams and John Morgan burglarized the office of Dr. A.H. Domann and stole blank prescription pads. Morgan’s roommate Kerry Brummett sees the pads and hears Williams and Morgan discussing their use. Later the same day, Williams is arrested attempting to obtain drugs using prescriptions forged on the pads. Williams tells Morgan that he can “beat the rap” if Dr. Domann does not testify.
10/6 – Williams murders Dr. Domann.
10/7 – Williams tells Morgan that he has killed Dr. Domann and dumped the body in a clay pit (Williams was convicted of this murder in a separate trial and the conviction was affirmed on appeal. See State v. Williams, 662 S.W.2d 277 (Mo.App., E.D. 1983))
10/8 – Williams suggests to Morgan that they should kill Kerry Brummett.
10/9-10 – Williams and Morgan murder Kerry Brummett.

1981
04/06 – Williams is charged with the murder of Kerry Brummett.
07/16 – Williams was sentenced to life for Attempting to Obtain a Controlled Substance by Fraud.
09/14 – Williams is tried by a jury on a change of venue in Clay County for the murder of Kerry Brummett. The jury convicts Williams and recommends a sentence of Death.
11/13 – The trial court denies Williams’ motion for new trial and sentences him to death.

1982
01/29 – Williams received a sentence of life imprisonment in Marion County for the death of Dr. A. H. Domann. This sentence to run consecutively with any other sentence.

1983
5/31 – The Missouri Supreme Court affirms Williams’ conviction and sentence.

1984
3/2 – Williams’ initial habeas corpus petition is dismissed for failure to exhaust state remedies.
3/21 – Williams files a motion seeking relief under Missouri Supreme Court Rule 27.26.

1985
3/27 – The Rule 27.26 motion is denied by the Circuit Court of Clay County following an evidentiary hearing.
6/6 – The Eighth Circuit U.S. court of Appeals affirms the dismissal of the first federal habeas corpus petition.

1986
5/15 – The Missouri court of Appeals, Western District, affirms the denial of the Rule 27.26 motion.
7/21 – Williams files his second federal habeas corpus petition.

1988
2/9 – The United States district Court denies Williams’ second federal habeas corpus petition.

1989
12/7 – A three judge panel of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals grants the writ of habeas by a 2-1 vote

1990
8/15 – The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals sitting en banc by an 8-2 vote vacates the opinion and judgment of the three judge panel and affirms the denial of the writ of habeas corpus by the United States District Court.

1991
1/30 – Williams files a state habeas corpus petition in the Circuit Court of Washington County.
2/15 – The state habeas corpus petition is transferred to the Missouri Supreme Court.
3/5 – The state habeas corpus to petition is denied.
3/14 – Petitioner files his third federal habeas corpus petition.
8/1 – Williams files a motion to recall the mandate in the Missouri Supreme Court.
10/8 – The motion to recall the mandate is denied.

1992
3/2 – Williams files and amended version of his third federal habeas corpus petition.

1995
4/28 – A United States Magistrate issues a 120-page report and recommendation finding after extensive analysis that all the grounds raised were either an abuse of the writ, or abusive of the writ and defaulted, or successive in that they have previously been rejected on their merits in earlier litigation, or not cognizable in a federal habeas corpus petition.

1996
1/11 – The United States District denies the third federal habeas corpus petition.
1/19 – The United States District court denies the third federal habeas corpus petition.
2/28 – The Missouri Supreme Court sets Williams’ execution date for April 10, 1996
3/8 – A three judge panel of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals grants a stay based on a Williams’ motion for a certificate of probable cause.
4/4 – The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals en banc denied the state’s motion for a rehearing of stay and motion to vacate the stay.
4/9 – The United States Supreme Court grants the state’s motion to vacate the stay.