RAIFORD, Fla. – A death row inmate who killed a Clay County woman and raped her daughter has died in prison.
Donald Davidson, 41, died while assigned to Union Correctional Institution in Raiford, according to a Florida Department of Corrections spokesperson.
The state Department of Corrections spokesperson said the district medical examiner will determine the cause of death, but multiple sources told News4JAX that Davidson’s death is being investigated as a suicide.
“Under Florida law, the district Medical Examiner is required to determine the cause of death for any person who dies in a prison or penal institution. Autopsy results and cause and manner of death determinations are releasable only by the district Medical Examiner,” the FDOC spokesperson said Wednesday in a statement to News4JAX.
In 2014, Davidson strangled and stabbed to death Roseann Welsh, 37, in Clay County and sexually assaulted her 10-year-old daughter.
It was an unusual prosecution, in that Davidson pleaded guilty to the charges and opted for a non-jury penalty phase. The defense presented mitigating factors that included childhood abuse and neglect. The judge found that the aggravating circumstances, like the horrendous nature of the crimes, outweighed the mitigating factors and handed Davidson the death penalty in 2019.
Davidson’s lawyers appealed the death sentence, arguing the judge didn’t give the mitigating factors sufficient weight. The state Supreme Court denied the initial appeal last July.
Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4JAX – All rights reserved.