A Change in PlansAt age 21, Debra Brown ended a marriage engagement, left her family and joined Alton Coleman, a sadistic rapist and murderer. During the summer of 1984, in what her attorneys described as a slave-master relationship, the two went on a burglary, rape and killing spree in Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio.
Targeting African-Americans, the couple would often befriend strangers, then assault, sometimes raping and murdering their victims, including children and elderly.
FBI Ten Most WantedOn July 17, 1984, Alton Coleman became the 388th fugitive listed by the FBI on the Ten Most Wanted list. Three days later the pair were caught and a multi-state coalition of police formed to strategize on how to best prosecute Coleman and Brown. Wanting the pair to face the death penalty, authorities selected Ohio as the first state to prosecute the couple.
No RemorseIn Ohio Coleman and Brown were sentenced to death in each case of the aggravated murders of Marlene Walters and Tonnie Storey. During the sentencing phase of the trial, Brown sent the judge a note which read in part, "I killed the bitch and I don't give a damn. I had fun out of it."
In separate trials in Indiana, both were found guilty of murder, rape and attempted murder and received the death penalty. Coleman also received 100 additional years and Brown received an additional 40-years on charges of kidnapping and child-molesting.
Alton Coleman was executed on April 26, 2002.
Brown's death sentence in Ohio was later commuted to life because of her low IQ scores and non-violent history prior to meeting Coleman and her dependent personality, making her susceptible to Coleman's control.
Currently in The Ohio Reformatory for Women, Brown still faces the death penalty in Indiana.