Mickey Wayne Davidson, 38,
admitted bludgeoning his wife, Doris Jane Davidson, and her
daughters Mamie Darnell Clatterbuck and Tammy Lynn Clatterbuck with
a crowbar in June 1990. He said he murdered his Smyth County family
because his wife decided to return to her former husband.
Virginia Puts to Death the
Killer Of Wife and Two Stepdaughters
The New York Times
October 21, 1995
A man who killed his wife
and two stepdaughters with a crowbar went
quietly to his death, staring at the ceiling
as he was executed by injection.
"I'll say my last words
to the Lord," the inmate, Mickey Wayne
Davidson, said on Thursday night after he
was strapped to a gurney. "I guess that's
all that really needs to be said."
A small man with shoulder-length
hair, beard and mustache, Mr. Davidson was
dwarfed by eight guards who led him to the
death chamber at the Greensville
Correctional Center minutes after the
Supreme Court rejected a final appeal.
He had sent a note
earlier in the day to the Governor, saying,
"I do want the execution to proceed as
Mr. Davidson, 38, pleaded
guilty to the 1990 crowbar slayings of his
wife, Doris Jane Davidson, and stepdaughters.
He said he killed Mrs. Davidson, 36, because
she had decided to return to her former
husband with the girls, Mamie Darnell
Clatterbuck, 14, and Tammy Lynn Clatterbuck,
Mr. Davidson had changed
his position frequently on whether to fight
his execution, finally saying this summer
that he deserved to die and would abandon
efforts to escape the death penalty.
A cousin, Barry Davidson,
submitted a petition on Thursday morning
saying the prisoner was mentally incompetent
to waive appeals. But it was rejected by a
Federal district appeals court and finally
the nation's highest court.
Mr. Davidson was the 45th
person executed in the United States this
Virginia man executed for
murdering his family
October 20, 1995
JARRATT, Virginia (CNN) -- Mickey Wayne Davidson,
convicted of murdering his wife and two step-daughters, on Thursday
became the 28th person to be executed in Virginia since the resumption
of the death penalty in 1976.
Davidson was pronounced dead at 9:41 p.m. (0041
GMT) at the Greenville Correctional Center, after a delay of 41
minutes due to an appeal by a relative. Virginia Gov. George Allen
waited until the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Barry Davidson's last-minute
appeal for his cousin's life before proceeding with the execution.
Barry Davidson unsuccessfully petitioned U.S.
District Judge James Spencer to stay the execution, arguing that
Davidson was not mentally competent.
Mickey Wayne Davidson, 38, admitted bludgeoning his
wife, Doris Jane Davidson, and her daughters Mamie Darnell Clatterbuck
and Tammy Lynn Clatterbuck with a crowbar in June 1990. He said he
murdered his family because his wife decided to return to her former
His final words were, "I'll say my last words to
the Lord. I guess that's all that really needs to be said."
Man who killed wife, two
stepdaughters is executed
October 20, 1995
The state Thursday evening executed Mickey W.
Davidson, who used a crowbar to beat his wife and two stepdaughters
to death in 1990.
Davidson died at 9:41 p.m. from an injection of
lethal drugs at the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt.
After pleading guilty to the murders, Davidson
alternated between seeking his execution and fighting to block it.
Davidson, 38, of Smyth County, said during the summer that he
deserved to die for the murders and would abandon any effort to
evade the death penalty.
In a notarized affidavit faxed to Gov. George
Allen about 1 1/2 hours before the execution, Davidson wrote, "I do
want the execution to proceed as scheduled.''
He beat his wife, Doris J. Davidson, 36, and her
daughters, Mamie D. Clatterbuck, 14, and Tammy L. Clatterbuck, 13,
to death on June 13, 1990, because Doris Davidson had decided to
return to her former husband.
"I just couldn't stand to see her go back. I just
couldn't stand to see them go back. So . . . I just took a crowbar
and killed them, Doris and the two kids,'' Davidson said in a
statement to police a day after the three were killed at their home
The U.S. Supreme Court denied an appeal by a
cousin of Davidson's at 9:22 p.m., said Ken Stroupe, an Allen
spokesman. The governor temporarily halted the execution to give the
court time to rule, Stroupe said.
All nine justices were involved in the decision.
Although the court would not release a vote on its ruling, it noted
that Justice John Paul Stevens wanted to stay the execution.
Two preachers, Bob and Sarah West of Heartbeat
Prison Ministries in Roanoke, said they were Davidson's only
visitors Thursday. They talked with Davidson and planned to give him
"He's accepted it. He's ready to go,'' Sarah West
But the second cousin, Barry Davidson, sought a
stay of execution Thursday on the grounds that Davidson was not
competent to waive appeals.
U.S. District Court Judge James Spencer in
Richmond denied the motion Thursday afternoon, and the 4th U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond upheld Spencer's decision
Thursday evening. The U.S. Supreme Court then rejected the appeal.
In his affidavit to Allen, Mickey Davidson said
he wanted the appeals to be stopped and specified he had not
authorized any lawyer to appeal on his behalf.
Davidson was the 28th person executed in Virginia
and the 302nd executed in the country since 1976, when the U.S.
Supreme Court allowed the states to resume using the death penalty.
He was the 45th person executed in the United
States so far this year.
Davidson was almost executed in 1992 after asking
his attorneys not to appeal his case. Three days before the
execution date, he changed his mind and was granted a stay.
An Eye For An Eye, A
Tooth For A Tooth
A State Witness To An Execution
(Reprinted from the
January 1996 issue of the Chesapeake Examiner, published by the
Chesapeake Bay Division -- International Association for
By Joe Scerra, CBD--IAI
We arrived at the execution chamber at about 8:45
p.m., 15 minutes before the scheduled execution. We had a short
walk to the viewing area and had to pass the general prison
population -- but they were calm that night! We took our seats
behind a glass enclosure. No member of the condemned's family would
be attending, but if they were they would be seated in an entirely
We learned in the conference room who the
condemned was, a Mr. Mickey Wayne Davidson, a 38--year old male from
Smyth County. Prior to traveling to Jarratt, Virginia, I had
obtained from our prosecutor's office a legal brief about Mr.
Davidson's case. In June 1990, the same year that Willie Evans was
executed for murdering Deputy Truesdale, Mr. Davidson brutally and
savagely killed his wife and two teenage stepdaughters with a
crowbar. This sad incident was over a broken marriage, child
custody, and child support by the stepdaughters' father. Mr.
Davidson admitted to the offense and was sentenced by the courts to
death in July 1991.
The enclosed drawing which was graciously done by
Rick Sexton, a fellow officer, accurately depicts the “Execution
Chamber” as I recall it. One difference is the right door which is
actually three times the distance to the gurney where Mr. Davidson
is lying. I was the witness seated to the bottom right. The
remaining witnesses were to my left and behind me, including the
press, prison officials and a woman minister for Mr. Davidson. I
saw a couple of members of the Attorney General's office to my right.
The two men speaking on the telephones were high--ranking prison
officials who were on the telephones the entire time. The right
telephone was to the Governor's office.
There was and a last--minute plea for and a stay
to the U.S. Supreme Court, just what I was anticipating during my
car trip to the prison. The execution was delayed for about 35
minutes. We were told that this was one of the longest last--minute
delays ever. Then at about 9:35 p.m. the right door opened and Mr.
Davidson was escorted by several anonymous Correctional Officers and
strapped to the gurney. A large curtain was drawn across in front
of the gurney and our vision of Mr. Davidson was momentarily
interrupted, while the intravenous (IV) needles were placed into Mr.
Davidson's arms. Then the curtain was pulled back so the witnesses
could view the execution. The prison official on the telephone to
the left stretched the telephone cord over to Mr. Davidson so that
he might speak his last words. Mr. Davison said very little,
something to the effect that he had nothing to say, that he would
say it to the Lord.
At this point, I could see the drugs traveling
through the IV lines. They were being administered by qualified
personnel from behind a large curtain area with a window in the
middle. Three drugs were administered: one puts the condemned to
sleep; the second deadens the muscles and third stops the heart.
I could see Mr. Davidson breathing heavily by
viewing his chest which was rising and falling with every breath.
It was not long until the chest movements became shallower. Then
there was no movement in his chest and that was when I knew he was
dead. There is an EKG attached to the condemned so that the
attending physician can certify that death has occurred and he did
To the left of the gurney and behind the curtain
was the electric chair, however, all that was visible were the legs
and part of the frame. (To pronounce death to an inmate who was
electrocuted, the attending physician has to listen to the inmate's
heart with a stethoscope in lieu of an EKG. This is because the
electrical current used to effect an execution would render the EKG
inoperable and certainly would pose a danger to the staff personnel
on hand. The electric chair and equipment is designed to deliver
approximately 1,825 volts at approximately 7.5 amps for 30 seconds.
Then 240 volts at approximately 1.5 amps for 60 seconds. There is
a pause of five seconds, then the cycle is repeated. The equipment
is operated for a total of three minutes. The cycle was designed to
render the condemned brain dead within the first few moments.
Our escort explained that the execution had been
carried out. We were directed to leave and as I was exiting the
execution chamber I glanced up at the clock on the wall to the right
and it read 9:42 p.m.; almost one hour earlier we had entered “The
As we were being driven back to our vehicles and
as our van exited the security gate, the members of the Rapid
Deployment Force were standing at “Attention”. The two individuals
from the press were dropped off by the news satellite truck. We
continued to exit the prison grounds and in the darkness I saw one
lady holding up a lighted candle as we drove by. I wondered; was
she there because of the victims or on behalf of the condemned?
As we were thanked for performing our duty, I
could not help but think how long the trip back home would be. I
also thought about the Biblical passage discussed earlier, it truly
was correct --— Justice was done in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
On the way home, I heard on my car radio several
news accounts of the execution I had just seen. At least the
broadcasts were short in substance compared to the ones I listened
to on the way to the prison.