Crime

Execution date set for Tacoma killer, but more appeals likely

Staff writerNovember 21, 2013 

A Pierce County judge Thursday assigned a Tacoma killer a date with the executioner, but Cecil Davis is expected to appeal again before that day arrives.

Superior Court Judge Ronald Culpepper set Dec. 17 as the date Davis, 54, should be executed and gave the twice-convicted killer until Dec. 1 to decide whether he wants to hang or be injected with a lethal cocktail of chemicals.

But deputy prosecutor John Neeb, who prosecuted Davis, said he expects the defendant's defense team to file appeals paperwork before then and obtain a stay of execution.

Two juries have decided that Davis should die for murdering 65-year-old Tacoma resident Yoshiko Couch in 1997 while her invalid husband was in the house but unable to help her.

The first death sentence was overturned on appeal, but the second was upheld by the state Supreme Court last year. Davis' lawyers took his case to the U.S. Supreme Court, but it declined to hear the case, court records show.

Neeb said Davis has other avenues of appeal despite those rulings and likely would exhaust them.

Davis also was convicted of murdering Jane Hungerford-Trapp in a separate case. He's serving a life sentence for that conviction.

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