We've all heard of tragic love triangles that ended in murder, but what makes a case such as that much more perplexing is when it involves kids. It's hard to imagine anyone being talked into committing a crime for anyone else, so one must wonder what was going through the killer teen's head when a woman convinced one boyfriend to kill her other boyfriend. On Jun 20, 2008, 16-year-old Meaghan Rice convinced one of her boyfriends, David Paulson (17) to kill her other boyfriend, Randall Mercier (17).
Violence among children has been on the rise at an alarming rate. It's not uncommon to hear on the news about kids who shot up their school or planned to do so before being caught. In fact, statistics show that murder is the second leading cause of deaths in teens, right after fatal car crashes. In the United States, it's become a regular occurrence to hear about teens who kill, and teens convicted of premeditated murder.
The following story is about kids who decided to do the unthinkable. Continue reading to learn more about the Randall Davis-Mercier murder facts and about the woman who some consider to be one the "hottest" women in prison.
On the morning of June 20, 2008, 17-year-old David Paulson and 16-year-old Meaghan Rice were driving around Apache Junction, Arizona, in her father's pickup truck, talking about Rice's recent breakup with Randall Mercier. The pair were upset with Mercier - so much so that they began discussing getting violent with him. They then took it a step further. The teens devised a grisly plan to kill the boy.
With Paulson in the back seat of the truck hiding under a blanket, Rice drove to Mercier's house with the intent of killing him. After picking up Mercier, they drove around for a while. Eventually, Rice drove by Mercier's home and spoke aloud of passing by his house, a code word of sorts that she and Paulson made up to let Paulson know he could come out of hiding. Paulson heard his cue and immediately came out of his hiding spot with a knife and began stabbing Mercier.
Mercier was able to get away from Paulson and jump out of the truck. Unfortunately, his body was later discovered in a ditch. He had died from blood loss from his stab wounds. Paulson and Rice made a haphazard attempt at cleaning the crime scene in the truck. They took out all of the personal items contained in the vehicle and threw a blanket over the blood-covered area. The pair then left the vehicle at an electric substation.
Later that day, Rice became concerned about an alibi. She told her brother and a friend about what she and Paulson did to Mercier and asked them to cover for her. Whether the abandoned vehicle gave away the guilty parties or Rice's brother or friend went to the police is unknown, but the police were made aware of the murder as well as who was responsible in a matter of hours. Paulson, not wanting to stick around, decided to try to escape to Salt Lake City, Utah, but once he arrived at the Salt Lake City airport, the U.S. Marshal’s Service Fugitive Task Force was there waiting for him.
During Paulson's murder trial, he claimed that Rice lied about what really happened the day of Mercier's death. Paulson claims that Rice came to pick him up at his house and that Mercier was the one who was hiding in the back seat of the truck, hiding under a blanket. He said that Mercier was the one who attacked him, coming out of hiding and hitting Paulson while wearing a pair of brass knuckles. Paulson claims that he stabbed Mercier in the act of self-defense. We may never know the exact details that lead to Mercier's death, but it is known that Rice did, in fact, remove Mercier's brass knuckles from the vehicle before she and Paulson abandoned it.
20-year-old Felecia Mercier, Randall's sister, had suffered from Huntington's disease. In November 2007, just seven months before Randall Mercier's death, his sister Felicia Mercier died from the neurological disease. The family was a very tight unit, according to Shirlee Mercier, the children's mother. Mercier had three children and lost two of them within a year.