CHRIS RICE COOPER is a newspaper writer, feature stories writer, poet, fiction writer, photographer, and painter. She maintains a blog at www.chrisricecooper.blogspot.com. She has a Bachelor's in Criminal Justice and completed all of her poetry and fiction workshops required for her Master’s in Creative Writing with a focus on poetry. She, her husband Wayne, sons Nicholas and Caleb, cats Nation and Alaska reside in the St. Louis area.
The Love Story of Mr. & Mrs. Boone: The
Dwelling of Love, Mentality, & Candy
sweetest thing is not candy or pie
knowing your heart is with me
four walls that make us cry;
the separation is painfully strong
our dwelling place even more so,
mental place we will always belong.
Excerpt from “To My Love In Prison”
By Audrey Q Rhodes
Fair Use Under the United States Copyright Law
Montgomery, Alabama resident Michelle Rene
Robinson has a unique love story to tell along with an announcement:she is engaged to Daoud Omar Boone, who is
serving in an Alabama prison for the capital murder of his ex-girlfriend Sylvia
Yvonne Perry, in which he proclaims his innocence.
Michelle first met Daoud at George Washington
Carver High School in September of 2000 where she was a freshman and he was a
“He was my height so I thought he was a
freshman.It was adorable.It was not love at first sight, but it was
wonderful.I noticed that he had pretty
hazel eyes.I’m infatuated with light
hazel eyes.He was so handsome.”
The two had friendly telephone conversations
that verged on the romantic, but Boone, a friend of Robinson’s boyfriend Recko,
tried to maintain propriety.
“One evening I missed my
bus home and Recko asked Daoud if he would give me a ride home.He took me home and we talked on the
phone.He was very respectable and he
knew me and Recko were trying to start a relationship and he respected that.”
Robinson and Recko Hall, also friends with
Boone, were together for 12 years and share a son, Jamari, who is now 5.
The morning of November
14, 2007, Michelle turned on the television to watch/listen to the news, as she
got ready to go to work at the Montgomery Humane Society.
“I saw him in the courtroom and it shook me to my core and
it all got realistic.They said the
trial was set and charged with capital murder.I saw his back and he turned and looked at Julian McPhillips.I knew he was innocent.”
On November 13, 2007 at around 11 p.m. Sylvia
Perry was shot and killed in the parking lot of Igores:by day a restaurant and by night a business
of human trafficking, prostitution, strip parties, underage drinking, and drug
At the time of Boone’s arrest, he had just
returned from South Korea two weeks prior, and was scheduled to move to
California for another tour of duty as a petty officer in the Navy.
Boone’s first trial was
declared a mistrial, but he was found guilty of capital murder on his second
trial.On November 23, 2010 he was
sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
One month later, on Christmas Eve 2013, Michelle received a
Christmas letter from Daoud.He called
her four days later, on December 29, 2013, which Michelle described as numbing
and exciting at the same time.
“It was too good to be
true.And it was bittersweet.I could
hear the guys through the background yelling at each other really loud.To hear him say, “Hey Michelle” was
gorgeous.I told him that the thing I
remembered about him the most was his long hair and pretty hazel eyes.I told him that I wished I could see his
pretty eyes right now.There was
silence.I asked him if he was still
there and he said yes and asked me what I was talking about.I told him, ‘Your eyes, those beautiful hazel
eyes.’And he said, “Oh, those were
contacts.’I could have dropped the
phone.I said, ‘you shattered my
In April of 2015 Michelle finally met Daoud
during a visit at the W.E. Donaldson Correction Facility in Bessemer, Alabama.
called the jail to find out what to wear and they also told me to bring
quarters.I rented a car.I started at 3 a.m.I was supposed to meet him at 7 a.m.I got there at 5 a.m.I was in the jail parking lot looking at the
barbed wire fence and the towers.“It’s
5 a.m. and these people are going to arrest me.’I drove to a service station where the
correctional officers go to on their way to work that shift.I asked one correctional officer about
visiting and he told me to show up at 6:30 a.m.When I showed up at that time there is a long line of cars.I was a nervous wreck to the very moment when
they waved me through.I’m inside the
jail right now and I go to the window and slip a piece of paper with his name
on it.Daoud told me to make sure that I
sit at the table with the vendor machine that has all the candy.”
And that was what all the quarters were
for:Daoud ate grape lemonheads, lemon
lemonheads, cherry lemonheads, green apple lemonheads, Gushers, Baby Ruth Candy
Bars, five packs of Skittles, pizza, and drank lemonade, sweet tea and
The two have routine telephone conversations,
monthly visits, and are constantly writing each other cards and letters.
“We sort of kind of realized we were what each
other was missing.He was that voice I
needed.I was that voice and support he
He asked her to marry him on the phone in
January of 2015.And she immediately
said yes without hesitation.This yes,
Michelle insists, is not dependent on his guilt or innocence.
“Without a shadow of a doubt, yes, I would still marry him
even if he were guilty.But he’s
not.People ask me how I can love
someone in prison for capital murder?I
tell them that the heart wants what the heart wants and that time, separation,
and distance doesn’t matter.I’m with
him until the ends of the earth.I’m
with him until the end.I can talk about
things and he has an open mind.If he
can be there mentally –if he can stimulate me mentally instead of physically –
then this will work out.I’m not looking
at the time he is serving, but at the person he is.”
Michelle’s family also
sees the person Daoud is and believes in his innocence and in the love the two
“We are now a blended
family.His niece became my niece, and his
sister became my sister in law.My mom
writes to him.My sister Ebony is smitten.I have acceptance from my family without
having to explain.They know him.”
Perhaps the one person
that was just as fierce of an advocate for Daoud as Michelle is Daoud’s father,
Civil Rights Activist and Reverend Richard Boone.
Reverend Boon was a foot soldier for
Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and before his death in October of 2013, was
insistent that his son was innocent of the murder of Miss Sylvia Perry.