Tuesday, July 29, 1997
Jailmate tells of Doan plotting
Carrie's mother testifies of abuse

BY LISA DONOVAN
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Vincent Doan
Vincent Doan

Carrie Culberson
Carrie Culberson

WILMINGTON, Ohio - Three months after Carrie Culberson was allegedly kidnapped and killed, boyfriend Vincent Doan told how he had plotted her slaying, a fellow prisoner at the Queensgate Correctional Facility testified Monday.

Word of the jailhouse conversation came the same day as heart-wrenching testimony from Ms. Culberson's mother concluded the Clinton County prosecutor's case against Mr. Doan. He is charged with two counts of aggravated murder and four counts of kidnapping in connection with the disappearance of Ms. Culberson.

Mitchell Epperson, 27, of West Chester said he met Mr. Doan in jail in November. Mr. Doan was serving time for a traffic-related offense.

Mr. Epperson told jurors he and Mr. Doan had talked of their relationships with their girlfriends.

"When he was talking about our girls cheating on us, he said, 'When they do that, you can't let them get away with it. You have to make them pay,' " Mr. Epperson said of Mr. Doan.

Mr. Doan talked about how he had planned to kill Ms. Culberson, Mr. Epperson told jurors.

"He said that he would lay awake at night and think of a hundred different ways to kill her before he did it," Mr. Epperson said. Calling him a "multi-county offender," Mr. Doan's attorney John Rion challenged Mr. Epperson's credibility. Mr. Rion asked Mr. Epperson to read a list of his convictions - from assault to theft offenses - in front of jurors.

Mr. Epperson said he received no compensation in the form of a lighter sentence for his testimony.

The prosecution's final witness was Debra Culberson. Clutching tissues, photos and a poem about her missing daughter, Mrs. Culberson testified about the alleged abuse her daughter suffered at the hands of Mr. Doan.

"I wanted her to get away from the relationship she was having with Mr. Doan," Mrs. Culberson testified. She said Ms. Culberson, 22, of Blanchester, had said she didn't want to move away from her younger sister.

Mrs. Culberson also testified about the pain of searching. "I need to find Carrie's body," she said.

Also Monday, a juror denied a report about discussing the case outside the courtroom.