Oregon death row inmate’s conviction overturned by Appeals Court

Posted May 1, 2019

The Oregon Court of Appeals this week overturned the conviction and death penalty sentence of a 54-year-old inmate
accused in the 1998 fatal stabbing of another inmate in a prison recreation yard.

The ruling found that David Lee Cox, who was sentenced to death in 2000, received ineffective counsel.

In its ruling, the court said one trial witness testified that the killing was part of a murder-for-hire conspiracy involving a prison group called the Lakota Club. The court said Cox’s lawyer should have investigated that theory and called witnesses who could have refuted it.

Cox was convicted of stabbing inmate Mark Dean Davis, 31, in the back. He claimed he didn’t mean to kill Davis. At the time, Cox was serving time for robbery, attempted murder, kidnapping, attempted assault and burglary convictions.

Cox was convicted in 1994 of robbing a convenience store in Milwaukie and stealing a Milwaukie police car, which he later crashed.

The Oregon Attorney General’s Office on Wednesday said it was still reviewing the ruling and hasn’t yet decided whether to appeal.
-- Noelle Crombie



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