March 2, 2008
Jessie Dotson kills four adults and two children, and injures another three children, after an argument with his brother
In the early hours of March 2, Jessie and his brother Cecil got into an argument which ended with Jessie shooting Cecil in the head. Jessie then shot and killed all other adults in the house to eliminate witnesses. He also attacked the children, whose ages ranged from 2 months to 9 years old, by stabbing them with a knife or beating them with a wooden board. Assuming all victims were dead, Jessie staged the scene by tossing cocaine and marijuana near the bodies of the adults and left the house.
Police were called to check on Cecil after he missed work and did not respond to phone calls. The responding officer, arriving roughly 40 hours after the killings, noticed the front storm door was closed but the interior door was slightly opened. He could “smell the dead bodies” and entered the home to find the bodies of the four adults. Upon further investigation, the officer found Cecil’s 9-year-old son C.J. still alive in a bathtub with a knife stuck in his skull, as well as the other surviving and murdered children.
Killed in the attack were Cecil Dotson (30), Marissa Williams (27, Cecil’s fiancé), Shindri Roberson (22), Hollis Seals (33), Cemario (4), and Cecil II (2). Cecil “C.J.” Jr. (9), Cedric (5), and Ceniyah (2 months) survived.
The surviving children told police “Uncle Jessie” had attacked them, with C.J. testifying at court against his uncle. Jessie was convicted of six counts of first degree murder and three counts of attempted murder, receiving a death sentence plus 120 years in prison. He is currently on death row.
“Death Row Offenders.” Tennessee Department of Corrections. https://www.tn.gov/correction/statistics-and-information/death-row-facts/death-row-offenders.html
“SUPREME COURT AFFIRMS CONVICTIONS AND DEATH SENTENCES FOR MEMPHIS MAN CONVICTED OF KILLING HIS BROTHER, FIVE OTHERS.” Tennessee State Courts. September 30, 2014. https://www.tncourts.gov/press/2014/09/30/supreme-court-affirms-convictions-and-death-sentences-memphis-man-convicted-killing
Lessmiller, Kevin. “Death Penalty Upheld in Grisly Memphis Murders.” Courthouse News. October 3, 2014. https://www.courthousenews.com/death-penalty-upheld-in-grisly-memphis-murders/
“Prosecutors to seek death penalty in Tennessee murder rampage.” The Leaf-Chronicle [Clarksville, Tennessee]. December 5, 2008
Baird, Woody. “Ex-convict charged in Memphis deaths.” The Tennessean [Memphis, Tennessee]. March 9, 2008