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Robert Melson (murderer)

Robert Bryant Melson (June 5, 1971 – June 8, 2017) was an Alabama inmate who was sentenced to death and executed[1] for the 1994 murders of three workers at a Popeyes restaurant in Gadsden.

Robert Melson
Born Robert Bryant Melson
(1971-06-05)June 5, 1971
Died June 8, 2017(2017-06-08) (aged 46)
Atmore, Alabama, U.S.
Criminal charge Capital murder
Criminal penalty Death (May 17, 1996)
Victims Tamika Collins, 18
Nathaniel Baker, 17
Darrell Collier, 23
Date April 15, 1994

The crimeEdit

On the night of Friday, April 15, 1994, Melson and his accomplice Cuhuatemoc Hinricky Peraita (born May 19, 1976) entered a Popeyes restaurant in east Gadsden through the back door of the building after employee Darrell K. Collier (January 22, 1971 - April 15, 1994) unlocked it to allow fellow employees Nathaniel Baker and Bryant Archer to take out the trash. Upon entry, Melson and Peraita ordered Archer, Baker, Collier, and fourth employee Tamika Collins into the restaurant's office and demanded that they empty the safe. They complied, after which Melson ordered the four to get inside the restaurant's freezer. Shortly after locking them in the freezer, Melson unlocked the door and opened fire. Baker, Collier and Collins all died of their wounds before paramedics arrived. Archer was shot four times, but he survived and was able to crawl to the restaurant's office to call 911.[2]

Legal proceedingsEdit

Melson was convicted of his role in the crime and sentenced to death on May 17, 1996, and he was placed on death row under Alabama Department of Corrections ID 0000Z601. Peraita was sentenced to life without parole, however he killed a fellow inmate on December 11, 1999, for which he received a death sentence in October 2001. Melson had 2 execution dates set in 2010, both of which were stayed. On April 5, 2017, Melson had an execution date set for June 8, 2017.[3] He received a temporary stay from an appellate court on June 2, however the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the stay on June 6 without comment. At 5:45pm on the night of the execution, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a temporary stay so Justice Clarence Thomas could review Melson's appeals. The stay was later lifted and the execution began at 9:55pm. Melson was pronounced dead at 10:27pm on Thursday, June 8, 2017, three days after his 46th birthday.[4]


  1. ^ "Alabama Department of Corrections". Retrieved 30 July 2017. 
  2. ^ "Robert Bryant Melson - Alabama Execution - June 8, 2017". Retrieved 2017-07-30. 
  3. ^ "Upcoming Executions - Death Penalty Information Center". Retrieved 30 July 2017. 
  4. ^ "Robert Melson executed in Alabama for '94 triple murder during robbery". Retrieved 30 July 2017.