Arkansas Death Row Inmate Dies After Found Unresponsive

GRADY,  Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas death row inmate who was convicted of raping and killing a 5-year-old girl has died after being found unresponsive in his cell.

Department of Corrections spokesman Solomon Graves says 57-year-old Roger Coulter was found in his cell at the Varner Unit about 6:30 p.m. Friday (Nov. 3) and died about 30 minutes later.

Court records show Coulter was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1989 rape and slaying of the daughter of the woman he was living with in Ashley County.

The records say Coulter took the girl from their home in April 1989 to deliver her to a pre-school program. The girl never arrived at the school and her naked body was later found stuffed in a hollow tree.

Coulter was arrested in California about five weeks later.

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ARKANSAS (KFSM)-- In an email to 5NEWS, Coulter’s defense team sent a statement:

We are heartbroken to hear of the passing of our long-time client and friend Roger Coulter. He was an accomplished artist and a dedicated friend and brother. We find solace in the knowledge that Roger was a committed Christian, sought forgiveness for his crimes, and is finally free from death row.