BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - 42-year-old death row inmate Michael Brandon Samra was executed Thursday evening at the William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore.
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey released the following statement:
“For more than 20 years, the loved ones of Randy, Dedra and the two young daughters Chelisa and Chelsea have mourned an unbearable and unimaginable loss. Four lives were brutally taken far too soon because of the malicious, intentional and planned-out murders by Michael Brandon Samra. Alabama will not stand for the loss of life in our state, and with this heinous crime, we must respond with punishment. These four victims deserved a future, and Mr. Samra took that opportunity away from them and did so with no sense of remorse. This evening justice has been delivered to the loved ones of these victims, and it signals that Alabama does not tolerate murderous acts of any nature. After careful consideration of the horrendous nature of the crime, the jury’s decision and all factors surrounding the case, the state of Alabama carried out Mr. Samra’s sentence this evening. Although this can never recover the lives lost, I pray that their loved ones can finally find a sense of peace.”
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall released the following statement:
“On March 23, 1997, Michael Samra and his friend Mark Duke coldly executed their plan to murder Duke’s father, Randy Duke, along with his father’s girlfriend, Dedra Hunt, and her six- and seven-year-old daughters, Chelisa and Chelsea. One cannot possibly imagine a more terrifying ordeal for the victims. Randy Duke was shot in the head. Dedra Hunt was shot multiple times as she attempted to flee with one of her daughters. Samra and Duke then proceeded to kill both of the young girls, cutting their throats. Samra was convicted of capital murder in 1998 and received his just punishment: a sentence of death. After too many years of delay, justice has finally been served. Tonight, we pray for the victims and for their families, that they might find peace and closure.”
It all unfolded inside a home on Chandawood Drive in a quiet Pelham neighborhood. The scene there decades ago was so horrific that even today law enforcement that worked it have trouble talking about what they saw.
42-year-old Michael Brandon Samra was only 19-years-old when he took part in the murder scheme planned out by Mark Duke.
Duke, 16-years-old at the time plotted to kill his Dad, Randy Duke, his Dads fiancée, Dedra Mims Hunt, and her two daughters, 6-year-old Chelisa Nicole Hunt and 7-year-old Chelsea Marie Hunt, all because Randy Duke did not let him borrow his truck.
Investigators say Samra slit 7-year-old Chelsea’s throat, as Mark Duke held her down.
WBRC spoke with Mark Hall who was the lead investigator on the case. He did not want to go on camera, but he did say in part:
“While I take no personal pleasure in an execution, I feel it is the appropriate sentence and punishment in this case because of the horrific and senseless murders that the offender committed. Those murders resulted in the deaths of 2 adults and two small children, on what was most certainly a painfully terrifying night for those victims as they were tortuously and brutally murdered in cold blood. It is my personal opinion that when a court hands down a final sentence for violent and heinous crimes such as this, and all other court appeals have failed, and a conviction is upheld by those courts, then, that sentence should be carried out. Convicted murderers should serve every day, every hour and every minute of the sentence they were given, and that includes the death penalty when it is appropriately imposed. Innocent victims and the families of those victims deserve no less."