[Marin County Obit Board]

Posted by Cathy Gowdy on Saturday, February 06, 2016 at 11:47:21 :

Independent Journal
Friday, March 21, 1952
Page 1

Murderer Dies In Gas Chamber

William Thomas Coefield went calmly to his death in the San Quentin prison gas chamber today for the murder of an Oakland liquor store owner.

Gas fumes entered the chamber at 10:04 a.m. and Coefield was pronounced dead nine minutes later.

Coefield, a 26-year-old sailor was from Rocky Mount, N.C. He was convicted of beating and shooting Melvin Tokus, 38, to death Oct. 7, 1949, in company with two other men, who got life sentences.

Warden Harley O. Teets said Coefield ate a chicken dinner late yesterday, then slept soundly all night. He refused breakfast this morning.

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