Douglas Coley, Ohio
Updated: Monday, July 11, 2022
Douglas Lamont Coley was scheduled to be executed at 10 am local time, at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility near Mansfield, Ohio, on Wednesday, July 20, 2022. His execution has been rescheduled to September 24, 2025. Forty-six-year-old Douglas is convicted of murdering 21-year-old Samar El-Okdi in Toledo, Ohio, on January 3, 1997. Douglas has spent the last 24 years on Ohio’s death row.
Douglas Coley had a sad childhood. His mother was frequently hospitalized for mental illness, was a chronic paranoid schizophrenic, and had borderline personality disorders. She would also often abused drugs and alcohol. Douglas was often malnourished and neglected during his childhood. Douglas’ father served time in prison. When out of prison, he was involved with drugs. While his family history was presented during the sentencing phase of his trial, Douglas and his attorneys did not provide any evidence regarding Douglas’ character, school, or employment history.
On the evening of December 23, 1996, David Moore parked his vehicle at his residence, and was unloading his trunk when he was approached by a man asking for directions. As David provided the directions, another man appeared, and when David attempted to leave, both men pointed pistols at him, demanded his keys, and ordered him into the vehicle. David complied with the directions. He was later able to identify the men as Joseph Green and Douglas Coley.
While in the car, David was forced to hand over his money, then he asked to be let go. Eventually, the car was stopped at a dark, isolated field, and David was told to get out of the car. While getting out, Coley shot David in the stomach. David began running. He heard the car’s tires spinning, as if trying to get out of mud, and then footsteps following him. Several more shots were fired at him and David fell down. As David was on the ground, another gunshot struck him in the head. David played dead until he heard the footsteps retreat, at which point he looked back and thought he saw Green walking away, as Green was taller and heavier than Coley.
David was able to get to a nearby house and seek assistance. At the hospital, it was discovered that David was shot in the head, stomach, arms, and twice in the hand. Green and Coley were later seen by friends and relatives driving a vehicle that matched the description of David’s vehicle. Additionally, they were seen with weapons that matched bullet casings found at the scene of the shooting. David’s vehicle was recovered a few days later, possessing stolen plates. The vehicle was found near the home of Coley’s girlfriend.
On January 7, 1997, the body of Samar El-Okdi was found in an alley. She had last been killed by a gunshot to her head and was last seen alive on January 3, 1997. A few days after Samar went missing, her friend saw Samar’s car and followed it, calling a friend who call the police. The friend followed the car to an apartment complex and saw two men get out. Police discovered that the license plate had been stolen and staked out the vehicle. Two men and a woman eventually got into the car with a baby.
Police followed the car, eventually surrounding it and forcing it to stop. The driver, Green, attempted to ram the vehicle through the police cars. Both Green and Coley resisted being arrested and were forcibly removed from the vehicle. Samar’s purse was found in the trunk and a gun was found on the floor of the car. The gun was eventually matched to the bullets found at both crime scenes.
Green and Coley were charged and convicted of the murder of Samar. They were both sentenced to death, although Green’s sentence was later commuted to life in prison. Coley was also convicted of the attempted murder of David, and a separate car-jacking incident.
This is not Douglas Coley’s first execution date. Previous execution dates were rescheduled due to Ohio’s ongoing problem obtaining lethal injection drugs. Most recently, Governor Mike DeWine placed a moratorium on executions in the state. Read more about Ohio’s ongoing problems here. Douglas’ current execution date has been rescheduled to September 24, 2025.
Pray for peace and healing for David Moore and the family of Samar. Pray for strength for the family of Douglas Coley. Please pray that if Douglas is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason, that evidence will be provided prior to his arrest. Pray that Douglas may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
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