Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Love Story of Mr. and Mrs. Boone . . .

Christal Cooper

The Love Story of Mr. & Mrs. Boone: 
The Dwelling of Love, Mentality, & Candy 

The sweetest thing is not candy or pie
but knowing your heart is with me
amongst four walls that make us cry;
for the separation is painfully strong
but our dwelling place even more so,
the 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 senior.

 “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 use. 

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 world.’”

       In April of 2015 Michelle finally met Daoud during a visit at the W.E. Donaldson Correction Facility in Bessemer, Alabama.
       “I 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 Gatorade.

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 needed.”

       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 share. 
       “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.
Now Michelle considers herself Daoud’s foot soldier and hopes she can continue to speak on behalf of the innocent like Martin Luther King Jr. and Reverend Richard Boone did.

       “I spend most of my time talking about Daoud, his case and his innocence.  I knew he didn’t do it.  I knew him and the person he was and the person he is.  And he didn’t do it.”

Photograph Description and Copyright Information

Photos 1, 3, and 25
Michelle Robinson in front of her Montgomery, Alabama home
Copyright granted by Christal Rice Cooper and Michelle Robinson

Photo 2
Daoud Omar Boone
Copyright granted by Michelle Robinson

Photo 4
Michelle Robinson as a freshman in high school.
Copyright granted by Michelle Robinson

Photo 5
Daoud Omar Boone getting ready for his senior prom.
Copyright granted by Michelle Robinson

Photo 6
Michelle and Jamari early December of 2013
Copyright granted by Michelle Robinson

Photo 7
Michelle, Jamari, and Recko on Christmas Eve 2013.
Copyright granted by Michelle Robinson

Photo 8
Julian McPhillips
Web logo photo
Fair Use Under the United States Copyright Law

Photo 9
Crime scene photo of Igor’s
Public Domain

Photos 10 and 11
Daoud Omar Boone in military uniform
Copyright granted by Michelle Robinson

Photo 12
Michelle Robinson reading the first letter Daoud sent her.
Copyright granted by Christal Rice Cooper and Michelle Robinson

Photo 13.
Daoud Omar Boone during his senior year.
Copyright granted by Michelle Robinson

Photo 14.

Photos 15 and 16
Michelle holding skittles
Copyright granted by Christal Rice Cooper and Michelle Robinson.

Photo 17
Michelle showing some of the cards Daoud sent her.
Copyright granted by Christal Rice Cooper and Michelle Robinson

Photo 18
Michelle looking at the letters Daoud has sent her over the past years.
Copyright granted by Christal Rice Cooper and Michelle Robinson

Photo 19
Michelle’s engagement ring
Copyright granted by Christal Rice Cooper and Michelle Robinson

Photo 20
Daoud Omar Boone
Copyright granted by Michelle Robinson

Photo 21.
Reverend Boone and his son Daoud Omar Boone.
Copyright granted by Michelle Robinson

Photo 22
ASU memorial reward for Rev Boone
Public Domain

Photo 23.
Reverend Boone
Copyright granted by Michelle Robinson

Photo 24.
Reverend Boone in sunglasses, second from the left (between woman in the hat and Martin Luther King Jr,)
Public Domain

1 comment:

  1. I love this story Michelle Robinson. Thank you for sharing. It should also be dedicated to Sylvia Perry. We all know Daoud is innocent and continues to be a political prisoner. A love story is a great start but one day someone who is spiritually and morally convicted by Daouds innocence will come forward -In the mean time. Write on , CHRIS!