State of Missouri v. Jeffrey Tokar

918 S.W. 2d 753 (Mo.banc 1996)

Jeffrey Tokar was executed on March 6, 2002

TokarJ Case Facts: Around noon on March 11, 1992 Jeffrey Tokar and his girlfriend Sandra Stickly were driving together in a rural area north of Centralia, Missouri looking for an empty house. The pair located the home of Johnny and Tammy Douglass and parked in the driveway. Tokar placed his socks over his hands to avoid Leaving fingerprints. He returned from inside the house with a shotgun and shells. He then urged Stickley to go back inside the house with him.

Later that afternoon Johnny Douglass returned home with his eight year old son Jared and his four year old daughter Lynzie. Upon arriving at the house they noticed the vehicle in the driveway. Mr. Douglass told his children to stay in the truck while he went to the garage to investigate. Lynzie left the truck a short time Later and then Jared also left the truck and went Into the garage.

Tokar and Stickley were inside ransacking the home and placing items in pillowcases. Stickley warned Tokar that she heard someone pull into the driveway. Tokar then loaded the shotgun and went toward the garage where he met Mr. Douglass. Stickley testified that she heard one of the children say “Mister, please don’t hurt my daddy.” She also heard Mr. Douglass plead, “Mister, please don’t hurt me. I’ll do anything you say.” She heard Tokar tell Mr. Douglass not to look at him. She heard one shot and then a second shot.

Tokar and Stickley ran back to the car and left the scene. Tokar wiped down the shotgun and took a shell from the weapon. They stopped the vehicle and Tokar threw the shotgun and the shell Into a nearby farm pond. Jared Douglass went to a neighbor’s house where the police were contacted. The children were then taken to their grandparents’ home.

When the police arrived at the scene they found Mr. Douglass in a pool of blood. He had been shot once in the face and once in the back of his head. Due to the blood splatter evidence it appeared to police that Mr. Douglass had been bent over or low to the ground when the second shot was fired. Police found a bloody shoe imprint and the items stuffed into pillow cases. They also recovered a box of .410 shotgun shells, but did not locate the shotgun.

Tokar and Stickley were arrested on March 13, 1992. At first Stickley denied being there, but later told police that she was with Tokar and that he had confessed to her that he had killed Mr. Douglass. The police also later recovered the shotgun and the shell from the pond where Tokar had thrown It on the day of the murder. Tokar was later identified in a line up by three different individuals and he was charged with Murder First Degree.

Legal Chronology:

02/12 – Tokar was arrested for Assault with Minor Injury. He was sentenced to pay $75.00 plus court costs.

07/28 – Tokar was arrested for Blood Alcohol Content In Boone County, Missouri and was sentenced to seven days in the Boone County Jail.

07/28 – Tokar was also arrested for Driving While Intoxicated and was sentenced to six months in the Boone County Jail. The execution of sentence was suspended and he was placed on probation for two years.

07/01 – Tokar was arrested for Battery and sentenced to 14 days in the county jail.

06/21 – Tokar was arrested for Larceny and Shoplifting Under $50.00. He was sentenced to 30 days in the Boone County Jail and fined $125.00 and court costs.

02/14 – Tokar was arrested for Damage to City Property and was fined $300.00.

05/23 – Tokar was arrested in Boone County for Driving While Intoxicated and Stealing without Consent. He was sentenced to three years in the Missouri Department of Corrections on each charge to run concurrently.

11/04 – Tokar was sentenced to two concurrent seven year sentences in the Missouri Department of Corrections from Boone County for two counts of Receiving Stolen Property over $150.

03/11 – Johnny Douglass is murdered by Jeffrey Tokar in Audrain Court, Missouri.

05/03 – Tokar goes to trial on a change of venue to Warren County. After five days a jury finds Tokar guilty of Murder 08/27 – First Degree and recommends the death penalty. Tokar is sentenced to death.

05/26 – Tokar files a motion for post-conviction relief in the circuit court.

02/10 – Tokar’s motion for post-conviction relief is denied by the circuit court.

03/26 – The Missouri Supreme Court affirms Tokar’s conviction and sentence. The court also affirms the circuit court’s denial of Tokar’s motion for post-conviction relief.
10/15 – The United States Supreme Court denies Tokar’s petition for writ of certiorari.

05/23 – Tokar files a petition of writ of habeas corpus in the U.S. District Court.

03/19 – The U.S. District Court denies Tokar’s petition for writ of habeas corpus.

12/08 – The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirms the District Court’s denial of Tokar’s petition for writ of habeas corpus.

10/02 – The U.S. Supreme Court denies Tokar’s petition for writ of certiorari.

02/04 – The Missouri Supreme Court sets March 6, 2002, as the execution date for Jeffrey Tokar.