Convicted Child Killer Executed In Oklahoma

Friday, May 15th 2009, 8:02 am
By: News On 6

Associated Press

McALESTER, Okla. (AP) -- The surviving siblings of an 8-year-old boy whose remains were found in an abandoned freezer in 1995 are relieved the man convicted of the crime has been executed.

Forty-eight-year-old Donald Gilson was pronounced dead at 6:19 p.m. Thursday at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.

Before he died, Gilson said he was an innocent man and that he would see the victim, Shane Coffman, in heaven.

Shane's four surviving siblings were on hand for the execution and his brother, Isaac Coffman, who was 13 when Shane died, said the execution was a long time coming.

Shane's sister, 20-year-old Crystal Mitchell, says she was troubled by Gilson's last words, but is confident a guilty man was executed.

The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board had recommended that Gov. Brad Henry commute Gilson's death sentence to life without parole. Gilson's attorneys argued that Shane's mother, Bertha Coffman, played just as much of a role in his death as Gilson and received life without parole.

A juror in Gilson's case, Megan Little, says she believes jurors weren't given all the information and she now regrets voting for a death sentence.