Michael Samra, Alabama
May 16, 2019
Michael Brandon Samra was executed by the state of Alabama on Thursday, May 16, 2019. He was pronounced dead at 7:33 pm CDT, inside the execution chamber at Holeman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama. Michael was 42 years of age. He was executed for the murders of 39-year-old Randy Duke, 29-year-old Dedra Mims Hunt, 7-year-old Chelsea Marie Hunt and 6-year-old Chelisa Nicole Hunt, on March 23, 1997, in Shelby County, Alabama. Michael spent the last 21 years of his life on Alabama’s death row.
Michael Samra was friends with Mark Anthony Duke. On March 22, 1997, Mark and his father Randy Duke, were in a heated argument and Randy threatened to not let Mark use his truck. This enraged Mark. Later in the day, Mark met up with David Collums, Michael Ellison, and Samra. Mark relayed the argument to his friends, stating that he wanted to kill his father. The friends obtained two handguns and began developing a plan to murder Randy and not leave any witnesses.
On March 23, 1997, Mark, Samra, Ellison, and Collums drove to Randy’s house. Ellison and Collums then left, agreeing to meet back up with Mark and Samra later in the day. Mark and Samra entered the home and Mark shot Randy, killing him. Samra aimed at Dedra, Randy’s fiancee. He shot her in the face, although she managed to flee upstairs with her two daughters, Chelsea and Chelisa.
According to Samra, Mark chased Dedra and Chelisa into the bathroom, where he shot and killed Dedra. Samra and Mark ran out of bullets after murdering Dedra. They retrieved kitchen knives and resumed searching for the two girls. Chelisa was found hiding behind the shower curtain, while Chelsea was found under the bed. Both girls eventually died after having their throats hacked with a dull knife.
After being questioned by law enforcement, Samra confessed to the crime and showed police where the weapons used in the crime were located. Evidence also showed that Samra used a knife to kill one of the girls. Samra was convicted and sentenced to death.
Mark was also sentenced to death, however, his sentence was commuted to life in prison without the possibility of parole, after the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that prisoners could not be executed for crimes committed when they were younger than the age of 18. Mark was 16 at the time of the murders. Leading up to his execution, Samra, who was 19 at the time of the murders, has used that argument that due to his youth, he also should not be executed. Numerous courts rejected the argument.
Ellison and Collums were given prison terms for their parts in the crime and have since been released from prison.
Please pray for peace and healing for the families of the Randy Duke, Dedra Hunt, Chelsea Hunt, and Chelisa Hunt. Please pray for strength for the family of Michael Samra.