Ohio executes man who killed 2 employees, wounded another at pet supply warehouse in 1991
LUCASVILLE, Ohio – An Ohio man asked for a survivor's forgiveness before he was executed Tuesday for a rampage at a pet supply company in 1991 where he murdered two co-workers and shot another, then tried to run over him with a truck.
Roderick Davie, 38, died by lethal injection at 10:31 a.m., moments after he apologized to the victims' families and the former co-worker whom he shot three times and tried to gouge out his eyes with a stick.
"John, I hope you can let it go, man, and forgive me," Davie said as he looked at William John Everett. "You hear me, John?"
Everett, sitting in the second row of witnesses, silently stared back at his attacker.
Davie confessed to shooting Everett and John Coleman in the head at a pet supply warehouse near Youngstown, where he had been fired months before. When he ran out of bullets, he beat 21-year-old Tracey Jefferys to death with a metal folding chair.
Strapped down to a gurney on Tuesday, Davie apologized to Jefferys' mother, who rocked back and forth and held the hand of a victim advocate.
"To Ms. Jefferys, I'm sorry," Davie said, part of a tattoo peeking out from the medical tape and tubes that covered his left arm. "I don't know if it means anything, Ms. Jefferys, but from the bottom of my heart, I mean that. I'm sorry."
Randy Coleman, whose brother was hired after Davie was fired, held a sepia photograph of three men as Davie apologized to his family. Next to him, another of his brothers looked straight ahead at the gurney.
Davie said he was done and the warden took the microphone. His lips continued to move like those of a praying man, but the words were lost.
He turned toward the window separating him from the witnesses and closed his eyes. A curtain was closed over the window, separating the witnesses from Davie. The room was silent, except for the rustling of cellophane as Everett opened a piece of candy. Then the warden said Davie had died.
In 1991, then-19-year-old Davie had been working at the Veterinary Companies of America for just under a year. He got along well with co-workers, including Everett and Jefferys. He was fired in April 1991 after a fight with the building's owner, according to the state's clemency report.
Less than three months later, Davie went back to the warehouse. He ordered Everett, Jefferys and Coleman to lie face down on the floor.
He shot the men and beat Jefferys, then snatched Everett's wallet from his back pocket and took Jefferys' change purse before he left the warehouse.
Everett stumbled into the parking lot, where Davie got into a truck and tried to run him over. But he crashed, hopped out and tried to gouge out Everett's eyes with a stick.
Davie fled when he saw someone watching and was later arrested. He confessed that he "flipped out" and "went down to VCA and shot 'em up," according to the clemency report.
A federal appeals court upheld Davie's death sentence in 2008 and rejected claims that police questioned him illegally. Davie's attorney declined to comment.
Davie spent the hours before his scheduled execution praying and visiting in person and on the phone with family, prisons spokeswoman Julie Walburn said.
Davie, who also goes by an Islamic name, fasted until sundown on Monday. He was served a vegetarian meal and drank several cups of coffee during the night.
Davie was the seventh person executed in Ohio this year, tying a record the state set in 2004.