A SUCCESSFUL BACHELOR IS FOUND DEAD AND ALL EYES ARE ON HIS GIRLFRIEND'S ESTRANGED HUSBAND, A ONETIME CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA -- SATURDAY, APRIL 7 ON "48 HOURS MYSTERY"
On December 10, 1996, fire raged through a home in an upscale Atlanta neighborhood. When firefighters extinguished the blaze, they found the body of 41-year-old David Coffin. Coffin's friends and family were grief-stricken, but their pain only deepened when authorities revealed that he was likely killed before the fire started. Correspondent Maureen Maher reports on the peculiar events surrounding Coffin's murder on 48 HOURS MYSTERY: "The Ghost of David Coffin," to be broadcast Saturday, April 7 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Coffin was, by most accounts, an outgoing, fun-loving, successful entrepreneur who did not seem to have many enemies. However, his girlfriend, Megan Lee, was in the middle of a divorce. Authorities wondered if Lee's estranged husband, Scott Davis, who was eager to save their marriage, might some how be involved in the murder.
When Davis was interviewed by police, he told them that he was a victim, not a murderer. Davis told authorities that on the very same day that Coffin was killed, he was attacked twice. He said that he was first ambushed by a stranger with a gun and mace and then, later that day, somebody tried to shoot him and set fire to his home. His story did not seem to add up and police remained suspicious. Davis, the son of a prominent Atlanta psychiatrist, became the number one suspect and was arrested in Coffin's murder. Eighteen months later, with no physical evidence linking Davis to the crime, the charges were dropped.
Seven years passed and Davis started a new life for himself in Palo Alto, Calif., Then in 2003 he was in the news again -- this time because he was running for governor in the recall election, on a long list of other candidates including Arnold Schwarzenegger. But, when the news of Davis' questionable past became known, he quickly dropped out of the race. Davis found himself under new and intense scrutiny in Atlanta when a cold case unit began re-investigating Coffin's murder. In 2005, nearly a decade after the brutal killing, prosecutors decided to try Davis for murder.
48 HOURS MYSTERY: "The Ghost of David Coffin" is produced by Allen Alter, Gail Zimmerman and Daria Hirsch. The senior producers are Judy Tygard and Anthony Batson. Al Briganti is the executive editor and Susan Zirinsky is the executive producer.