State of Missouri v. Samuel Lee McDonald

661 S.W. 2d 497 (Mo. banc 1983)

Samuel Lee McDonald was executed on September 24, 1997

Case Facts
:  On the evening of May 16, 1981, Robert Jordan, an off-duty St. Louis County police officer, accompanied by his 11 year-old daughter Rochelle went to the Forest Package Liquor Store to purchase snacks for the weekend. After making their purchases, Officer Jordan and his daughter started out of the store.

Samuel Lee McDonald and a woman named Jacqueline Blue had been driving around that evening and stopped their car a short distance from the liquor store. McDonald got out of the car and was standing on the corner near the store when Officer Jordan and his daughter emerged with their groceries. McDonald drew a pistol and accosted Officer Jordan firing one or more shots in the process. One of the shots wounded Jordan in his chest and he fell to his knees. Officer Jordan handed McDonald his wallet which contained his police officer’s badge. McDonald took the wallet and began to turn away when he returned and shot Officer Jordan in the chest.

As McDonald attempted to flee, Officer Jordan drew his service revolver and fired a number of shots striking McDonald three times. Officer Jordan stumbled back into the store where he died a short time later.

McDonald crawled back to the car and instructed Blue to drive him to a hospital. He later changed his mind and went to a friend’s house, but no one was there. McDonald stuffed his shirt into a sewer drain and then instructed Blue to take him to a hospital.

Police later searched Blue’s car and found Officer Jordan’s wallet and badge in the rear seat. Police also found the revolver McDonald used in the killing in the trunk along with the rest of his clothing. Police were also able to retrieve the shirt from the sewer drain.

Rochelle Jordan and two other eyewitnesses testified at trial that McDonald was the individual who had shot and killed Officer Jordan.

Legal Chronology

5/16-Samuel Lee McDonald murdered Robert Jordan an off-duty
St. Louis County police officer in St. Louis, Missouri.
6/12-McDonald is indicted for Capital Murder.

2/24-McDonald is convicted of Capital Murder and a sentence of death is recommended by a jury in St. Louis City.
5/17-McDonald is sentenced to death.
5/18-McDonald appealed his conviction to the Missouri Supreme Court.

11/22-The Missouri Supreme Court affirmed the conviction and sentence.

4/1-The United States Supreme court declined to review McDonald’s direct appeal.
5/2-McDonald filed a motion for post-conviction relief.

10/27-29 -An evidentiary hearing is held in the St. Louis Circuit Court on the motion for post-conviction relief.

1/20-The Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis denied McDonald’s motion for post-conviction relief.

7/26-The Missouri Eastern District Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of post-conviction relief.

7/7-McDonald filed federal petition for writ of habeas corpus in the U. S. District Court for Eastern Missouri.

8/11-The U. S. District Court for Eastern Missouri denied McDonald’s habeas corpus petition.

12/2-The U. S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision to deny McDonald’s habeas corpus petition.

6/2-The U. S. Supreme Court declined to review McDonald’s habeas corpus petition.
7/14-The Missouri State Supreme Court set an execution date of September 24, 1997.