Cecil Davis, Washington


December 16, 2013

Cecil Emile Davis was scheduled to be executed shortly after midnight on December 17, 2013, at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla, Washington. It is believed that the execution for 54-year-old Cecil has been granted a stay of execution because he has not yet completed his federal appeals. Cecil is convicted of murdering 65-year-old Yoshiko Couch on January 25, 1997.

December 12, 2013

Cecil Emile Davis’ execution is scheduled to occur shortly after midnight on December 17, 2013, at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla, Washington. Fifty-four-year-old Cecil is convicted of burglarizing, raping and murdering 65-year-old Yoshiko Couch on January 25, 1997. Cecil has been on Washington’s death row for the past 16 years.

It is likely that Cecil’s execution will be stayed, as he has not yet completed his appeals process.

Cecil was born and raised in Kansas and Missouri. It was reported at his trial that he was abused growing up and that his family was poor. He is a carpenter by trade.

On January 25, 1997, Jack and Asako Schauf arrived to pick up Yoshiko Couch to attend a dance recital. Yoshiko was not ready and waiting as she usually was. Jack and Asako approached the house. The door opened as they knocked. The couple discovered Yoshiko lying on her back in her bathtub. Jack and Asako called the police who took several samples for testing and photographed the crime scene.


Cecil Davis lived a few doors down from Yoshiko. The night before and the morning of the murder, there were several people at his house. Around 2:30 am on January 25, 1997, Cecil and two friends, George Anthony Wilson and Keith D. Burks, were outside smoking. Davis commented that he “needed to rob somebody,” while looking across the street to Yoshiko’s house. Later, Davis commented “I need to kill me a mother [expletive deleted].” Shortly thereafter, Keith went inside and locked the door behind him, while Davis and Wilson remained outside.


A few minutes after Keith went inside, Wilson, looking scared, knocked on the door to be let in. According to Wilson, he and Davis went to Yoshiko’s house to “rip the lady off, but [Davis] just kicked in the door and started beating on her and rubbing her all over.” Wilson identified the woman as Yoshiko. Wilson claimed he left when he realized what Davis was doing. Later, Wilson stated that he remained in the house, but downstairs, while Davis was upstairs with Yoshiko.


Davis was arrested on January 28, and his house was searched on January 29, 1997. Several items recovered were known to be missing from Yoshiko’s house including cigarettes, meat from the Fort Lewis Commissary (to which Davis did not have privileges), beer cans, and soda cans. The beer cans were not the usual brand for the family and there were only two. Additionally, the family did not buy soda cans, preferring two liter bottles. Further, the cigarettes were not the brand used by the family. At least one fingerprint of Yoshiko was found on the box of cigarettes.


While in custody, another inmate reported that when Davis asked to see his newspaper he commented that “I may have killed [Yoshiko], but I didn’t rape her.”


Davis was convicted on February 9, 1998. On February 23, 1998, a trial court sentenced Davis to be executed. Davis can choose to be executed by hanging or lethal injection. If he fails to make a decision, lethal injection is the default method.


Police determined that Yoshiko had been killed by absorbing toxic amounts of the chemical xylene. Yoshiko had breathed it in and had it rubbed on her skin. Xylene is a chemical in a cleaner found in the bathtub along with Yoshiko. DNA testing had been performed on the samples collected from the scene. Several samples linked Davis to the crime.


Please pray for peace for the family of Yoshiko Couch. Please pray for strength for the family of Cecil Davis. Please pray that Cecil will find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.



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