Doster v. State Of Ala.

CourtAlabama Court of Criminal Appeals
PartiesOscar Roy Doster v. State of Alabama
Docket NumberCR-06-0323,CC-03-156
Decision Date30 July 2010

Appeal from Covington Circuit Court

WISE, Presiding Judge.

The appellant, Oscar Roy Doster, was convicted of three counts of capital murder for murdering Paul LeMaster during the course of a robbery, see § 13A-5-40(a) (2), Ala. Code 1975; during the course of a burglary, see § 13A-5-40 (a) (4), Ala. Code 1975; and for causing LeMaster's death by firing a shot from outside a dwelling into a dwelling, see § 13A-5-40(a) (16), Ala. Code 1 975.1 The jury unanimously recommended that Doster be sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. The circuit court chose not to follow the jury's recommendation and sentenced Doster to death. This appeal followed.

The State's evidence tended to show that on November 6, 2002, Jason Pettie, arrived at his trailer in the Whispering Pines Trailer Park and discovered that his trailer had been ransacked and that several of his guns--a 12-gauge shotgun, a 16-gauge shotgun, and a 30-06 rifle--were missing. Another trailer that belonged to LeMaster was parked about 100 yards from Pettie's trailer. Pettie noticed that LeMaster's truck was gone and that the lights were on in his trailer. When police responded to Pettie's 911 call, he told them about LeMaster's trailer. Pettie also testified that he was afriend of Doster's brother and that on one occasion Doster had been to his trailer with his brother.

Police discovered LeMaster's body in his trailer. He had been shot once in the back. The coroner testified that LeMaster died of a gunshot wound that entered his left lung and tore an artery. Twenty feet from the door of LeMaster's trailer police discovered a bag of items that were later identified as having been taken from the VFW Post in Covington County.

Elliott King of the Covington County Sheriff's Department testified that on November 4, 2002, Doster and three other inmates--Bobby 0'Lee Phillips, Michael Barbaree, and Charles Meeks--escaped from the Covington County jail through the ventilation system and used a mattress to climb a wire fence. The four split up, but Doster and Phillips remained together.2 Doster and Phillips went on foot to the VFW Post off Covington County Road 70.

Beverly Edwards, an employee of the VFW Post testified that on November 5, 2002, she received a telephone call that someone had broken into the Post. When she arrived she discovered that alcohol, cigarettes, Alka-seltzer brand antacid tablets, drinks, and snack foods were missing. Edwards also testified that the vending and game machines had been opened and that money was missing from the machines. A boat, that was lying near the front of the club, was also taken.

Doster and Phillips used the boat to travel down river, where they stopped near the Whispering Pines Trailer Park--an isolated trailer park that included only two trailers. The two broke into Pettie's trailer through the back door. They cleaned themselves up, ate, slept, and obtained clothes. The two discussed obtaining some form of transportation. They noticed that a truck was parked in front of the other trailer. Using a rifle and ammunition taken from Pettie's trailer, Phillips shot LeMaster while LeMaster was in his trailer cooking dinner. Doster and Phillips then entered LeMaster's trailer and took coins and the keys to LeMaster's truck.

The two traveled to Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, and stayed in various hotels, painted the stolen truck, and returned to Covington County on November 10; they went to a wooded area off Pete McGee Road and emptied the contents of LeMaster's truck. Some of the items included identification cards in the name of Paul LeMaster.

On November 11, 2002, Doster and Phillips broke into the Florala City Yard. Larry Jackson, an employee of the Florala City Maintenance Shop, testified that on November 11, 2002, the business was broken into and various tools, a gasoline can, and a crowbar were missing. He also said that gas had been siphoned out of several dump trucks. Jackson further testified that Doster had worked at the shop when he was on work release.

Doster and Phillips then broke into the Florala High School on November 12, 2002. Terry Holley, the principal of Florala High School, testified that on November 12, 2002, the school was broken into and that approximately $300 was taken out of some vending machines.

Jeremy Douglas, of the Crenshaw County Sheriff's Office, testified that on November 14, 2002, he was in Lockhart makinga routine traffic stop when Austin Shoaf approached him and informed him that he had found some documents when he was out hunting--a driver's license and a 110 Brotherhood union identification card. The name on the documents was Paul LeMaster. Douglas said that he gave the items to Investigator Walter Inabinett of the Covington County Sheriff's Office.

Randall Jackson, the pastor at Conecuh River Baptist Church, testified that on November 17, 2002, someone broke into the church, that the pulpit area was "trashed pretty well," and that the vending machines had also been broken into. (R. 1892.) Doster was familiar with the church, which his mother-in-law and sons attended.

James Garner, the principal at Pleasant High School in Compton, testified that on November 17, 2002, the school was broken into and that money was taken out of the vending machines.

John Windom, a detective with the Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Police Department, testified that the Remington rifle used to kill LeMaster was recovered from Cash America Pawn Shop in Baton Rouge. Jay East, an employee of the pawnshop, testifiedthat the gun was pawned on November 13, 2002, by an individual named Waylon Leach.

On November 18, 2002, Texas State Troopers arrested Doster and Phillips on Interstate 10 near Sonora, Texas, bringing to an end their two-week crime spree. Phillips was driving LeMaster's truck, and Doster was in the passenger seat. Both Doster and Phillips were advised of their Miranda3 rights and were taken to the Crockett County jail. Doster made statements to law-enforcement personnel on November 18, 19, 20, and 21, 2002. It was not until the last statement that Doster admitted that he was present when Phillips shot LeMaster.

In Doster's November 18, 2002, statement, he said that he escaped from the Covington County jail and that he and Phillips went to Pettie's trailer because he thought that his brother still lived with Pettie. He said that they took clothes and that he left a note saying that he would pay Pettie back when he had the money. As he was walking away from the area, he said, Phillips drove up to him in a brown truck and he got in the truck with Phillips. Doster said thathe did not know until they reached Louisiana that Phillips had killed anyone. In this statement, Doster denied any involvement in the burglary of the VFW Post.

On November 19, 2002, Doster again said that he did not know that Phillips had killed LeMaster until he and Phillips were in Louisiana. He also denied any involvement in any of the burglaries.

On November 20, 2002, Doster admitted that he was involved in the string of burglaries set out above. He said that he and Phillips first went to Pettie's trailer and cleaned up and got clothes. Doster said that when they left Covington County they went to Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. He said that to lure Phillips back to Covington County he told Phillips that there was money in Covington County and that he knew a man who carried $20,000 and that they should just kill him and take his money.

On November 21, 2002, Doster admitted that he was present when Phillips shot LeMaster. Doster's statement read:

"On Monday night after the escape, me and Bobby went to a mobile home that belongs to Jason Pett[ie].... We went in and ate and got dry. We changed clothes. We went to sleep and the next morning we got up and we took a shower and while I was in the shower, Bobby popped the lock on the topof the gun cabinet.... Bobby wanted a gun in case we needed to use it for anything. Bobby had all of the guns laying in the floor. I put all of them back up. Bobby had a 16 gauge in his hand. I loaded a 12 gauge shotgun and slept with it by the door. I also loaded a 22 rifle with one bullet in it. We sat there that whole day and Bobby was always carrying the gun. We were going to leave after it got dark. I went ahead and took another shower and when I was getting in the shower Bobby said that he was going to go kill the son of a bitch and get his truck. Bobby was referring to the man that was living in a trailer near Jason's house. His trailer was about 100 yards away. We had seen the man come and go and knew he had a pickup. Bobby had a 30.06 in his hand and I was in Jason's master bath and took a bath. I got out of the bath and when I got out of the bath, Bobby came through the door and he was holding the rifle and Bobby said that the man would never get in his damn cross hairs. Bobby was smiling when he said this. I told Bobby to quit f---around and for us to go on and get the hell out of here and get a way of going. Bobby said to hurry up and get dressed. I was putting on my socks and I had not noticed that Bobby had gone back out the door and the next thing I know I heard a gun-shot and I jumped up running and looked out the front window and I saw the man falling to the ground. The man was in his trailer where the door was. Bobby was outside about 100 yards from the trailer. The shot came from the end of Jason's trailer. Bobby came running inside and he had the rifle and pointed the gun sort of towards me and said let's go, get the duffle bag, let's go. We then went out of the door and ran to the man's truck. Bobby ran inside the man's trailer and he asked me to help him find the keys. We both went in and I saw a hamburger cooking on the stove and I turned off the gas. Bobby found a drawer full of coins and he pulled it out and all. Bobby said that the keys had to be in

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