Waiting for Justice: One Family Reacts to Arkansas' Execution Stay

ROGERS, Ark. -- - It's been 25 years since Richard Daniel came home from a business trip to a quiet house in his tree-lined Rogers neighborhood.

He thought his beloved wife Jane was in her darkroom creating the photographic art she was so very gifted at.

Instead, he discovered a scene that would forever change his life.

"I went down in the basement level and found her laying on the floor in a pool of blood," Richard Daniel said.
 
October 12, 1990, prosecutors believe a man parked his car in the Daniels' garage. It was full of items he'd just stolen from a neighbor, including the loaded 44 caliber magnum revolver he would soon use to execute the 62-year-old woman while she was in the middle of grabbing lunch. 

That man: 27-year-old Don Davis.

Prosecutors believe Davis led Jane Daniel through the house collecting jewelry and camera items they would later recover. Then he marched her to a basement storage room and shot her execution-style in the back of the head.

Mr. Daniel has no doubt that Davis did it. "My view of Don Davis is that he is an evil person who intentionally killed somebody he didn't know and who had never done any harm to him," he told us.

"I came driving up and [saw] one hundred police cars. I found my mom was gone," Jane Daniel's daughter, Susan Khani, told us.

After the murder, Don Davis bought a one-way bus ticket to Las Vegas, but not before tipping off his roommates that someone had been killed.

"We announced a reward and they came forward as a result of that," Richard Daniel told us.

Within two months, Don Davis was behind bars. 

And within two years, he was sentenced to death for the capital murder of Jane Daniel.

"It's as if the trial never ended. He was convicted 23 years ago. The murder was 25 years ago. He was convicted at the trial and sentenced to death."

"It's agony. We want an end to this so we don't have to hear his name ever again," Khani said.

Don Davis has exhausted all of his appeals. He was scheduled to die for the sixth time last week.

And yet again the family learned litigation will keep Jane Daniel's killer alive.

"What it has done is the case is never over. It just keeps on going and going. It sleeps some... wakes up again and sleeps some... and wakes up again."

For the Daniel family, it's the nightmare they cannot wake up from.

Twenty-five years after the murder of Jane Daniel, her family is still waiting for justice.

Stay with KNWA/Fox 24 for the next story in this three-part series. We'll hear from the man waiting to die, as Don Davis speaks exclusively with Fox 24 anchor Jo Ann Bauer. 


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