News Flash

Prosecuting Attorney

Posted on: May 18, 2017

Washington State Supreme Court upholds death penalty in 1997 murder case

OLYMPIA WA - Today the Washington State Supreme Court upheld the death penalty for Cecil Emile Davis, 57. Davis was found guilty of aggravated murder in Pierce County Superior Court and sentenced to death for the murder of Yoshiko Couch.

Davis raped, robbed, and killed Couch in her home in 1997 and was sentenced to death. His first death sentence was set aside for error in 2004. In 2007 the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office successfully sought the death penalty again and that sentence was affirmed by the Washington State Supreme Court on direct appeal.  Today’s decision pertains to a second challenge to his death sentence.

The state’s high court rejected Davis’s arguments, including that Washington’s death penalty system unconstitutionally fails to protect defendants with intellectual disabilities from execution. Both Washington law and the United States Constitution prohibit executing anyone who is intellectually disabled. While several medical experts testified at Davis’s trial, no one testified that he was Intellectually disabled.  Davis also argued unsuccessfully that Washington’s death penalty system is unconstitutional because it does not require a jury to find, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a defendant facing the death penalty does not have an intellectual disability. In its decision the court wrote, “We find his arguments unpersuasive and dismiss the petition.”

In addition to the murder of Yoshiko Couch, Cecil Davis was also convicted of the 1996 murder of Jane Hungerford-Trapp. 

"The death penalty in Washington State only applies to the most heinous crimes," said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. "Davis’ crimes shocked the conscience of our community. We hope this brings closure for the community, especially the family and friends of Yoshiko Couch."

For more information, please contact James Lynch at (253) 798-6265, jlynch@co.pierce.wa.us.

Facebook Twitter Google Plus Email

Other News in Prosecuting Attorney

seal-transparent

Man Charged with Murder and Assault

Posted on: March 13, 2018
seal-transparent

Teens Charged for Firing Gun in School

Posted on: February 27, 2018
seal-transparent

Two Charged, 20 Pounds of Meth Seized

Posted on: February 9, 2018
seal-transparent

Man Charged With Double Murder

Posted on: February 7, 2018
seal-transparent

Three Men Charged with Drive-by Shooting

Posted on: January 16, 2018
DawnMarkProBonoLeadership Award2017

Prosecutor’s Office Wins Two Awards

Posted on: January 10, 2018
adopt-a-family

Season of Giving Adopt-a-Family

Posted on: January 10, 2018

Prosecutor Lindquist to Sue Big Pharma

Posted on: December 20, 2017

Graham-Kapowsin Shooter Charged

Posted on: December 12, 2017

Woman re-charged with murder

Posted on: December 7, 2017

Never Too Cold

Posted on: November 9, 2017
seal-transparent

Man charged with murder of mother

Posted on: October 19, 2017

Man charged with multiple child sex crimes

Posted on: September 28, 2017

Man sentenced for killing homeless woman

Posted on: September 15, 2017

Homeless man murdered

Posted on: September 19, 2016