For three days, from December 23 to 26, four young people went on a killing spree in Dayton, Ohio that left four people seriously injured and six dead. These bloodthirsty young folks referred to themselves as the “Downtown Posse,” and consisted of 16-year-old Laura Taylor, 17-year-old DeMarcus Smith, 20-year-old Heather Matthews, and 19-year-old Marvallous Keene, their self-proclaimed leader.
On Christmas Eve, their spree began. The Downtown Posse got their first taste of blood in 34-year-old Joseph Wilkerson. Promising the man an orgy, the foursome arrived at his apartment on the 3300 block of Prescott Avenue. After some drinking, Taylor and Wilkerson went to his bedroom. After a moment, Keene and Matthews followed and played along.
When Wilkerson’s guard was down, Keene whipped out a gun and forced Wilkerson onto his bed to be tied up. The group then proceeded to rob Wilkerson, taking a microwave oven, a TV, a cordless phone, a curling iron, a blowdryer, and Wilkerson’s Buick. After they had satisfied their robbery, Keene and Taylor shot Wilkerson to death.
Next was was 18-year-old mother Danita Gullette who was casually using a payphone. They shot her five times and had taken her shoes and jacket. Over the next two days the Downtown Posse, lead by Keene, went on to shoot and kill 38-year-old Sarah Abraham, 16-year-old Wendy Cottrill, and 18-year-old Marvin Washington. The latter two were killed because Keene believed they could positively identify them to police.
But on December 27, police caught up with the youthful gang and arrested the foursome. Keene, Taylor, Matthews, and Smith were all convicted of murder. The latter three were given life sentences, but Keene was sentenced to death.
On July 21, 2009, Marvallous Keene was executed by lethal injection at 10:36 am at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville. His last meal was a Porterhouse steak with A1 sauce, a pound of jumbo shrimp with cocktail sauce, french fries, onion rings, dinner rolls and butter, two plums, a mango, a pound of seedless white grapes, German chocolate cake, two bottles of Pepsi and two bottles of A&W cream soda.
Keene was the 1000th US convict to be executed since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. His final words were, “I have no words.”