Indiana Death Row



DOB: 11-06-1955 DOC#: 865839 Black Male

Lake County Superior Court
Judge Richard Maroc

Prosecutor: Tom Vanes, Richard Cook

Defense: Cornell Collins, Lonnie Randolph

Date of Murder: June 18, 1984

Victim(s): Tamika Turks B/F/7 (No relationship to Coleman)

Method of Murder: ligature strangulation with bedsheet

Summary: 7 year old Tamika and her 9 year old niece, Annie, were walking back from the candy store to their home when they were confronted by Debra Denise Brown and Coleman. Brown and Coleman convinced them to walk into the woods to play a game. Once there, they removed Tamika's shirt and tore it into small strips which they used to bind and gag the children. When Tamika began to cry, Brown held her nose and mouth while Coleman stomped on her chest. After carrying Tamika a short distance away, Annie was forced to perform oral sex on both Brown and Coleman, then Coleman raped her. Brown and Coleman then choked her until she was unconscious. When she awoke, they were gone. Tamika was found dead in the bushes nearby, strangled with an elastic strip of bedsheet. The same fabric was later found in the apartment shared by Coleman and Brown. Annie received cuts so deep that her intestines were protruding into her vagina. Evidence of a remarkably similar murder in Ohio was admitted at trial. These acts proved to be part of a midwestern crime spee by Coleman and Brown that included up to 8 murders, 7 rapes, 3 kidnappings , and 14 armed robberies. Coleman has accumulated death sentences in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.

Murder, Attempted Murder (A Felony), Child Molesting (A Felony)

May 7, 1986 (Death Sentence, 50 years, 50 years consecutive)

Aggravating Circumstances:
b(1) Child Molesting, 2 prior murder convictions in Ohio

Mitigating Circumstances: None

Direct Appeal:
Coleman v. State, 558 N.E.2d 1059 (Ind. August 24, 1990)
Conviction Affirmed 5-0 DP Affirmed 4-1
Shepard Opinion; Givan Pivarnik, Dickson concur; Debruler dissents.

Coleman v. Indiana, 111 S. Ct. 2912 (1991) (Cert. denied)

05-15-92 PCR filed; Denied by Special Judge Richard J. Conroy
Coleman v. State, 703 N.E.2d 1022 (Ind. 1988) (Appeal of PCR denial)
Affirmed 5-0. Shepard Opinion; Dickson, Sullivan, selby, Boehm concur.
Coleman v. Indiana, 120 S.Ct. 1717, 146 L.Ed.2d 389 (2000).

Petition for Writ of Certiorari granted. Judgment vacated and remanded back to Indiana Supreme Court for further consideration in light of Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 120 S.Ct. 1495, 146 L.Ed.2d 389 (2000) (Where Virginia death sentence reversed on grounds of ineffective assistance of counsel, relying upon two-pronged test of Strickland)

Coleman v. State, 741 N.E.2d 697 (Ind. December 29, 2000)
(On Remand from U.S. Supreme Court to Indiana Supreme Court)
Conviction Affirmed 4-0; DP Affirmed 4-0
Shepard Opinion; Dickson, Sullivan, Boehm concur. Rucker did not participate.

(Coleman has been incarcerated in Ohio on Death Row since his 1988 convictions and death sentence for Aggravated Murder in Hamilton County. On april 26, 2002, Coleman was executed by lethal injection in the state of Ohio. At the time of his execution there was over 3,500 convicted murderers on death rows across the United States. Coleman was the only one with death sentences from 3 different states: Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois.)

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