Washington State Supreme Court Outlawed Death Penalty; Serial Killer Robert Yates’ Death Sentence Converted To Life in Prison (October 11, 2018)

Robert Lee Yates Ranker

Robert Lee Yates, Army National Guard Retired (photo: Ranker)

The Victims:
July 13, 1975: Patrick Oliver
July 13, 1975: Susan Savage
December 28, 1988: Stacy E. Hawn 
August 25, 1996: Patricia Barnes
June 14, 1996: Shannon Zielinski
August 26, 1997: Heather Hernandez
August 26, 1997: Jennifer Joseph
November 5, 1997: Darla Scott
December 7, 1997: Melinda Mercer
December 18, 1997: Shawn Johnson
December 26, 1997: Laurie Wason
February 8, 1998: Sunny Oster
April 1, 1998: Linda Maybin
May 12, 1998: Melody Murfin
July 7, 1998: Michelyn Derning
October 13, 1998: Connie LaFontaine Ellis

Source: Robert Lee Yates | Murderpedia, the encyclopedia of murderers

Click here for another list of Victims of Robert Lee Yates from Serial Killers Podcast.

“According to the Spokane Spokesman-Review, the German federal police are looking into the deaths of 26 prostitutes with assistance from U.S. Army Criminal Investigative Command. Yates, a former Navy helicopter pilot, was stationed in Goeppingen, Germany, from 1988 to 1991. The FBI has found the black van he allegedly owned in Germany and has searched it for evidence.” –Whidbey News-Times (October 18, 2000)

UPDATE:
Gov. Jay Inslee announces capital punishment moratorium
Washington pauses to reflect on death penalty
Supreme Court outlaws death penalty in Washington
State declares death penalty unconstitutional
Social worker who served Yates’ victims supports end of death penalty

In the News:

Spokane Serial Killer Robert Yates will be learning Thursday whether or not his death penalty conviction for the murders of two women near Tacoma will be overturned by the Washington State Supreme Court. -4 News Now (September 28, 2007)

In a majority opinion the Washington State Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from Spokane Serial Killer Robert Yates and upheld his death sentence for the murders of two women in Pierce County in the late 1990s. -4 News Now (September 28, 2007)

Spokane Serial Killer Robert Yates has been transferred from death row in Walla Walla to Pierce County where he will be in court Friday as Judge John McCarthy signs his death warrant. -4 News Now (September 5, 2008)

Kathy Lloyd feared that Robert Yates would live longer than her. He killed her sister, Shawn McLenahan. Now a Tacoma judge will sign Yates’ death warrant, and Lloyd is hoping Yates will die soon. -4 News Now (September 5, 2008)

Attorneys for convicted Spokane Serial Killer Robert Yates have filed their application for a stay of his execution which is scheduled for later this month. -4 News Now (September 9, 2008)

Spokane Serial Killer Robert Yates is claiming he had ineffective legal counsel in his latest appeal of his death sentence for the killings of two women in Pierce County in the late 1990s. -4 News Now (May 22, 2013)

Related Links:
Serial Murder — FBI
Robert Lee Yates | Murderpedia, the encyclopedia of murderers
Police Looking for Worldwide Trail of Death
Robert Lee Yates, Jr.: The missing years: Big time lapses between killing sprees
Serial killer’s wife suspected Yates was having affairs
Yates sentenced to life in prison
Jury finds Yates guilty of aggravated murder
Retired Army National Guard Pilot & Serial Killer Robert Lee Yates, Jr. Convicted of 2 More Murders in Washington; Sentenced to Death (September 19, 2002)
Jury Decides on Death for Serial Killer
Serial killer Yates sentenced to death (October 3, 2002)
Victims’ relatives take stand
Family letters to prosecutor in death penalty plea ruled ‘private’
Serial killer Yates calls death penalty unfair
Supreme Court to rule on Serial Killer’s appeal
Supreme Court upholds Yates death sentence
Judge to sign serial killer’s death warrant.
Spokane serial killer to be executed
Judge sets Sept. 19 execution date for serial killer Robert Lee Yates Jr.
Yates’ death still won’t bring closure to sister of victim
Spokane Serial Killer files for stay of execution
Serial killer Robert Yates Jr. seeks federal appeal of death sentence
Serial Killer Robert Yates Appealing Death Sentence
Former Oak Harbor resident Robert Yates appealing death sentence
Serial killer Robert Yates Jr. seeks federal appeal of death sentence
Serial killer Robert Yates claims ineffective counsel in latest death penalty appeal
Serial killer Robert Yates claims ineffective counsel in latest death penalty appeal
Spokane serial killer Robert Yates’ petition rejected by Washington Supreme Court
Death Sentence Upheld for Spokane Serial Killer
State Supreme Court denies serial killer’s plea
Gov. Jay Inslee announces capital punishment moratorium
Washington pauses to reflect on death penalty
Death penalty still stands for serial killer Robert Yates
State Supreme Court rejects serial killer Yates’ petition
Serial killer Robert Yates still fighting sentencing error
Case of serial killer Robert Yates heading back to state Supreme Court
Convicted serial killer Robert Yates expected in court Monday
Spokane serial killer back in court
Spokane serial killer’s attorney accuses juror of misconduct
Wife’s shock: My hubby buried a body in the backyard
Spokane Serial Killer Bob Yates Was Sentenced to Death Almost 20 Years Ago, Here’s Why He’s Still Alive
Supreme Court outlaws death penalty in Washington
State declares death penalty unconstitutional
Social worker who served Yates’ victims supports end of death penalty
The Story Of The Serial Killer Who Terrorized This Washington Town Is Truly Frightening
Robert Lee Yates Is The Most Deranged Killer You’ve Never Heard Of
The Spokane Killer: The Life of Serial Killer Robert Lee Yates Jr. (book)
America’s deadliest serial killers
Serial Killers Fast Facts

Investigation Discovery:
Unusual Suspects Premiered ‘Monster in Spokane’ on ID: Serial Killer in Washington is Retired National Guard Pilot Robert Lee Yates, Jr. (July 19, 2010)
Monster in Spokane | Unusual Suspects | Investigation Discovery (S1,E6)
Monster in Spokane | Unusual Suspects | Investigation Discovery (website)
Monster in Spokane | Unusual Suspects | Investigation Discovery (Prime Video)
Cable show to feature Yates serial killer case
American Monster Premiered ‘Family Snapshot’ on ID: Bob Yates’ Family Shocked Military Hero Father & Spouse is a Serial Killer (July 16, 2017)
Family Snapshot | American Monster | Investigation Discovery (S2,E2)
Family Snapshot | American Monster | Investigation Discovery (website)
Family Snapshot | American Monster | Investigation Discovery (Prime Video)
American Monster takes a look at Spokane serial killer Robert Lee Yates
Scene of the Crime with Tony Harris Premiered ‘Down by the River’ on Investigation Discovery: Serial Killer Robert Lee Yates, Jr. (June 4, 2018)
Down by the River | Scene of the Crime w/ Tony Harris | Investigation Discovery (S2,E1)
Down by the River | Scene of the Crime w/ Tony Harris | Investigation Discovery (website)
Down by the River | Scene of the Crime w/ Tony Harris | Investigation Discovery (Prime Video)
Spokane serial killer Robert Lee Yates murdered at least 13 people – Tony Harris recounts the investigation

Fresno Bee: ‘Black Widow’ Granted Parole. She Arranged the Murder-for-Hire of Her Navy Husband (January 26, 2018)

“Over the objections of the victim’s daughters and prosecutors, a two-member panel of the Board of Parole Hearings granted parole to Susan Lee Russo, who masterminded the murder-for-hire of her husband in the 1990s…Russo, 62, was originally sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in the death of David Russo, a senior chief petty officer at Lemoore Naval Air Station…Last year, the sentence was commuted to 25 years to life in prison by Gov. Jerry Brown, making her eligible for parole…Russo was convicted on Jan. 30, 1996, of first-degree murder and conspiracy. The Lemoore Naval Air Station serviceman, 43, was shot in the back of the head on July 14, 1994, while asleep in his Riverdale home. Two of the Russo children were asleep in another room.”

Read more from the Fresno Bee here.

Related Links:
‘Black widow’ granted parole. She arranged the murder-for-hire of her Navy husband
Navy Spouse Susan Russo Hired Drug Addicted Hitmen for $100 to Kill Husband David Russo for Life Insurance; Sentenced to Life in Prison, Commuted (July 14, 1994)
Deadly Women Premiered ‘Cash In’ on Investigation Discovery: Susan Russo Conspired to Have Husband Murdered for Life Insurance (September 30, 2016)
Deadly Women: 30 Military and Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Deadly Women Premiered ‘Killer Cougars’ on Investigation Discovery: Two Teenagers Promised Money if They Killed Kevin Spann (August 26, 2016)

Some women can’t resist boy toys. But fur flies when these Deadly Women reveal they’re “Killer Cougars.” -Deadly Women (S10,E1)

Kevin and Gina Spann know that life in the military is anything but easy. But when Kevin goes away, Gina plays. Adam Kostewicz and Grace Pianka are trying to live the American dream. But when that dream turns into a nightmare, someone ends up dead. -Special Delivery, Deadly Affairs (S2,E9)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
Murderpedia: Gina Lynn Spann
The Mother’s Day Murder by Wensley Clarkson
Killer Cougars | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (S10,E1)
Killer Cougars | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (website)
Killer Cougars | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Killer Cougars | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)
Special Delivery | Deadly Affairs | Investigation Discovery (S2,E9)
Special Delivery | Deadly Affairs | Investigation Discovery (website)
Special Delivery | Deadly Affairs | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Army Soldier Kevin Spann Fatally Shot by Two Teenagers at Front Door of Georgia Home; Wife Gina Spann Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole (May 11, 1997)
Deadly Affairs Premiered ‘Special Delivery’ on ID: Gina Spann Manipulated Teenagers to Kill Her Husband (September 28, 2013)
Deadly Women: 30 Military and Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Web of Lies Premiered ‘Hate Mail’ on Investigation Discovery: Dangerous Internet Troll Targets Family of Head of Security for Joyce Meyer in Illinois (March 25, 2015)

ID Go: Shortly after Chris Coleman starts a new job as Security Chief for a Christian ministry, he begins receiving threatening emails. Then, tragedy strikes: his wife and two sons are found dead. Police must work to trace the emails back to the killer. -Hate Mail, Web of Lies (S2,E11)

Date: May 5, 2009
Victims: Sheri Coleman, Air Force veteran, Garett Coleman, Gavin Coleman
Offender: Chris Coleman, Marine Corps veteran
Location: Waterloo, Illinois
Circumstances: Devout Christians, rushed to get married because Sheri was pregnant, moved to Waterloo, Illinois after getting out of the military, Chris got a job as head of security for Joyce Meyer, Joyce attracted extreme fanatics, Chris monitors e-mails and hate mail for Meyer, paid $100,000 a year, Joyce travels the world and Chris goes with her, unrelenting schedule that keeps him away from home, Chris was gone 260 days out of the year, Chris starts getting threatening emails at work, threats escalate to include harm to Chris’ family, neighbor finds Sheri, Garett, and Gavin strangled to death in their Illinois home, investigation leads police to Chris Coleman, Chris wanted to end his marriage to be with a woman he was having an affair with, Chris knew Sheri didn’t want a divorce
Disposition: Sentenced to life in prison, no parole

In the News:

Press conference in 2009 about the triple murder of Sheri, Garett and Gavin Coleman in Columbia, Illinois. Their father Chris Coleman was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the murders two years later. -Belleville News-Democrat (May 12, 2011)

Unedited video from Joyce Meyer’s testimony in the Chris Coleman Murder Trial. -Belleville News-Democrat (July 7, 2011)

Excerpt from the Chris Coleman interview. Coleman was convicted of killing his wife and two sons. This interview took place after the bodies were found in their Columbia, Illinois home. The evidence was released by the judge on July 7, 2011. -Belleville News-Democrat (July 8, 2011)

“The Writing on the Wall” | 48 Hours | CBS (May 5, 2012)

Angela DeCicco, mother of Sheri Coleman, talks about the civil suit. Her daughter and grandsons were murder by Chris Coleman. -Belleville News-Democrat (May 12, 2012)

Sheri Coleman and her two boys were found brutally murdered in a scene that looked like it was right out of the Manson Family Horror. They were strangled to death and someone spray painted over their bodies. Sheri’s husband Christopher, a bodyguard for a televangelist, claimed his family had been threatened prior to the murders because of his line of work, but was his family actually targeted for the job he held? -True Crime Daily (April 26, 2018)

Pt. 2: Woman, Sons Found Strangled After Home Spray Painted – Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen -True Crime Daily (April 26, 2018)

Pt. 3: Woman, Sons Found Strangled After Home Spray Painted – Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen -True Crime Daily (April 26, 2018)

Pt. 4: Woman, Sons Found Strangled After Home Spray Painted – Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen -True Crime Daily (April 26, 2018)

Chris Coleman was convicted in 2011 of murdering his wife Sherri and sons, Garret & Gavin to death. -Crime Statement Analysis (November 26, 2018)

Convicted murderer Chris Coleman is back in a Columbia, Illinois court Tuesday. Ten years ago, Coleman was convicted of killing his wife and sons. Fox 2/News 11’s Kelley Hoskins is live in Waterloo with what was decided today during Coleman’s attempted appeal. -FOX 2 St. Louis (April 17, 2019)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch all of the Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. Download the ID Go app and binge away. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $2.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict.

Related Links:
Hate Mail | Web of Lies | Investigation Discovery (S2,E11)
Hate Mail | Web of Lies | Investigation Discovery (website)
Hate Mail | Web of Lies | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Sheri Ann Weiss Coleman (1977-2009) – Find A Grave Memorial
Christopher Coleman charged with strangling his family
Dad pleads not guilty to killing family
Man Accused of Killing Family Texts Girlfriend from Wife’s Funeral
Documents: Coleman texted his girlfriend on the days the wake, funeral were held for his wife and sons
Family: Threats Found in Home Where Woman, 2 Sons Found Strangled
Convicted Murderer Chris Coleman Interview part 1
First Responders Describe Horrific Scene at Coleman House
Family of slain woman drops lawsuit against Joyce Meyer Ministries
Warning: Graphic Pictures – Coleman Murder Evidence
A Family Erased: The Chris Coleman Story
Joyce Meyer Testimony
Joyce Meyer Testifies In Ex-Bodyguard’s Murder Trial
Coleman guilty of murders
Joyce Meyer’s Ex-Bodyguard Convicted of Murder
Murder, 2009 Coleman Family Triple murder
Televangelist’s bodyguard ‘strangled wife and sons so he could marry his mistress’
Coming up on 48 Hours Mystery: Televangelist Joyce Meyer’s Former Head of Security Found Guilty in Triple Murder – “The Writing on the Wall,” Saturday, May 5 (10:00 PM, ET/PT)
Mother Sheri Coleman speaks
Sheri Coleman’s family speaks to media 2
Chris Coleman speaks from prison about murder of wife, 2 sons
Court sides with Sheri Coleman family in lawsuit against ministry
Millionaire father plotted the death of his own family to be with his mistress
Court upholds life sentence for televangelist’s bodyguard who strangled his family to death while they slept after starting an affair with his wife’s childhood friend
Dad strangled wife and sons to death before trying to blame imaginary stalker
2009 Coleman family triple murder
Chris Coleman, convicted of strangling his family, seeks appeal over explicit photos
Was Christopher Coleman’s family murdered by a serial killer? Former cop thinks so.
New trial may be warranted for man convicted of murdering wife, two sons
Head of security for religious figure convicted of murdering wife, two sons
Pt. 1: Woman, Sons Found Strangled After Home Spray Painted – Crime Watch Daily
Pt. 2: Woman, Sons Found Strangled After Home Spray Painted – Crime Watch Daily
Pt. 3: Woman, Sons Found Strangled After Home Spray Painted – Crime Watch Daily
Pt. 4: Woman, Sons Found Strangled After Home Spray Painted – Crime Watch Daily
Convicted killer Chris Coleman talks to ‘Crime Watch Daily,’ proclaims innocence
The story behind ‘Crime Watch Daily’s report on the Chris Coleman murders
Illinois man appeals murder conviction after jury sees four dirty pictures
Motion to dismiss Coleman petition
Mother Sheri Coleman speaks
Chris Coleman seeking new trial in 2009 murder of wife, sons
Could convicted family killer Chris Coleman get a new trial?
Judge grants request for new evidentiary hearing in Coleman murders
Murdered: The Coleman Family | Crime Junkie Podcast
Interrogation of Convicted Murderer Chris Coleman | Crime Statement Analysis
One Last Kiss: The True Story of a Minister’s Bodyguard, His Beautiful Mistress, and a Brutal Triple Homicide (Book)
Chris Coleman on 48 Hours [Full Episode)

Homicide Hunter Premiered ‘Drive Thru Murder’ on ID: Army Veteran Flees From Colorado After Execution Style Murder & Robbery (November 13, 2012)

Hard-working fast food manager Missy Berry is found dead in an idling car at a deserted intersection. Kenda discovers suspects from Missy’s past who may have wanted her dead. But a surprise twist in the investigation leads him into uncharted territory. -Drive Thru Murder, Homicide Hunter (S2,E6)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
Drive Thru Murder | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (S2,E6)
Drive Thru Murder | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (website)
Drive Thru Murder | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Drive Thru Murder | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)
Missy Berry Found Murdered in Stopped Vehicle at Intersection; Army Veteran Clifford McDaniel Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole (September 17, 1994)
The PEOPLE of the State of Colorado, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. George C. McDANIEL, Defendant (March 13, 2003)

Deadly Women Premiered ‘Loathe Thy Neighbor’ on Investigation Discovery: Shonda Walter Killed Elderly Neighbor for Gang Initiation (August 5, 2011)

Neighbors can be a source of friendship and community comfort. But what happens when a neighbor stops watching out for you, and starts watching you. The sinister minds of these women begin to turn sour and they begin to torment their neighbors. -Loathe Thy Neighbor, Deadly Women (S5, E2)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
Loathe Thy Neighbor | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (S5, E2)
Loathe Thy Neighbor | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (website)
Loathe Thy Neighbor | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Loathe Thy Neighbor | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)
Shonda Walter Used a Hatchet to Kill Neighbor & WWII Vet James Sementelli; Sentenced to Death But Commuted to Life in Prison, No Parole (March 25, 2003)
Deadly Women: 30 Military and Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Military Spouse Kimberly O’Neal Found Murdered at Camp Pendleton Park; Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Archie O’Neil Jr. Sentenced to Life, No Parole (February 29, 2004)

USMC

Date: February 29, 2004
Victim: Kimberly O’Neal, U.S. Marine Corps Spouse
Offender: Archie O’Neil, Jr., U.S. Marine Corps
Location: Deer Park, Camp Pendleton, California
Circumstances: Archie O’Neil and Kimberly O’Neal engaged in a forbidden affair for a couple of years, before Archie was suppose to deploy to Iraq, they had one more tryst, Kimberly got angry when she learned Archie wasn’t going to leave his wife, Archie shot Kimberly O’Neal multiple times, during the investigation, Archie’s wife claimed Kimberly tried to run her down with her car but didn’t report it because no proof, Archie said he had severe headaches and shot Kimberly because she threatened to kill his family (most likely not true), Archie confessed to Kimberly’s murder but showed no remorse, charged with 1st degree premeditated murder, used PTSD defense to mitigate his crimes, defense claimed Archie had an abnormal startle response
Disposition: O’Neil sentenced to life in prison, no parole

Investigation Discovery:

ID Go: A decorated marine faces war at home when he falls for a married woman. Suspicion and jealousy plague their affair as they battle to keep their secret from their spouses but with the stakes so high it’s a truth they’ll stop at nothing to hide. -Love is War, Forbidden: Dying for Love (S4,E8)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch all of the Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. Download the ID Go app and binge away. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $2.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict.

Related Links:
Marine held in Kuwait for Calif. shooting
Marine Charged With Shooting Death on Base
Marine faces murder charges in Pendleton slaying
Trial continues for Marine accused of murder
Trial continues for Marine accused of murder 2
Defense: Stress triggered shooting
Verdict: Guilty, sentence stalled
Across America, Deadly Echoes of Foreign Battles 2008
Major NYT piece on homicides by Iraq and Afghanistan veterans
Gunnery sergeant gets life without parole
The War Within | Los Angeles Magazine
Love is War | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (S4,E8)
Love is War | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (website)
Love is War | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Violent Crime, Non Combat Death, and Suicide at Camp Pendleton, California (US Marine Corps)