Friday, April 26, 2002

Alton Coleman

One Bad Man Straps on The Feed Bag!

The Skinny...Mr. Coleman, 46, of Waukegan, Ill., was sentenced to death for the 1984 beating death of Marlene Walters, 44, of Norwood. Coleman, who along with girlfriend, Debra Denise Brown, cut a murderous swath during the summer of 1984 murdering four adults and four children during a six-week reign of brutality that wove through Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky.

That rampage took him to Lexington in mid-July where Mrs. Walters' auto was found abandoned in a cornfield near Lexington July 15, two days after her murder. On July 17, Oline Carmicalof Williamsburg was kidnapped in Lexington and left in the trunk of his car, which was found in Dayton, Ohio.

Coleman, who was black, largely preyed on other African Americans, with Mrs. Walters his only white murder victim. Coleman also was convicted of the rape and strangulation murder of Tonnie Storey, 15, of Mohawk, during his stay in the Cincinnati area.

The Last Meal...Mr. Coleman requested a final dinner of filet mignon, sauteed mushrooms, sweet potato pie with whipped cream, butter pecan ice cream, biscuits with brown gravy, broccoli with cheese, french fries, cherry coke, a green lettuce salad with French dressing, collard greens, onion rings, fried chicken breast and corn bread.

In lieu of filet mignon Mr. Coleman was served a New York strip steak. All the food came from the prison kitchen, except the ice cream. Mr. Coleman ordered the largest final dinner of any condemned inmate to date.

A+B=CPrison officials said Mr. Coleman had a fitful night before the execution. "I don't know if it was from indigestion or nervousness," said Reginald Wilkinson, director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

Last Words: "The Lord is my shepherd," which he repeated over and over again.

FACTOIDS...Two sisters and a brother, who were supposed to attend final visits with the 46-year-old Illinois native, did not show. It was believed that his family had "transportation problems."

Never too late: He was baptized three days ago. He is a follower of Dallas-based televangelist T.D. Jakes.

In a holding cell 13 steps from the death chamber, Coleman spent his last hours scribbling notes to family and friends, meeting with his spiritual advisers and watching videotapes recorded by an evangelical Christian minister.

Coleman is the only man in U.S. history sentenced to death in three states.

Coleman was Ohio's fourth execution - after a 36- year hiatus in capital punishment - since 1999.

Coleman died from a $43 dose of generic chemicals.

The Excuse/s:...Coleman and his lawyers unsuccessfully pleaded for mercy from the courts and Gov. Bob Taft, contending his violence was the outgrowth of growing up in a brothel where he was abused and brain damage he suffered in the womb from his prostitute mother's alcohol and drug abuse.

Partner in Crime: Ms. Brown was sentenced to death for the Storey murder, but her sentence was commuted to life imprisonment in early 1991 by outgoing Gov. Richard Celeste. She remains imprisoned at the Ohio Reformatory for Women at Marysville.