Evidence reveals details of Navy commander's killing

Documents, photos detail case against 3 accused of slaying commander

ORANGE PARK, Fla. – Three people are facing murder charges in the killing of an American hero who was a decorated sailor and Jacksonville resident, including the sailor's wife.

Investigators believe Navy Cmdr. Alphonso Doss was strangled in an Orange Park motel back in February 2014 and that his killers tried to cover up the crime.

Doss died in February last year. His estranged wife, Yolinda Doss, and her boyfriend, Anthony Washington, are among three people awaiting trial in his killing. The third is Ronnie Wilson, Washington's roommate.

According to prosecutors, the commander was killed for a $1 million life insurance payout.

The three accused in his death each face murder charges, with prosecutors saying the crime scene was staged to look like a burglary.

A DVD containing thousands of pages of documents and images from the investigation were just released to News4Jax. 

 PHOTOS: Crime scene, evidence in Navy commander's killing 

The documents detail how three suspects were connected to the case and they paint a picture of a painful marriage, and show a man struggling to recover his life after becoming a hero in the Navy, battling his emotions and addiction, before his death. 

"That's just, uh, disheartening. It's a depraved mind, depraved heart, whatever you want to call it," defense attorney Dexter Van Davis said.

Davis defends clients in Jacksonville, but he spent 30 years in the Air Force, working in the Judge Advocate General's office.

Clay County Sheriff's Office booking photos of Anthony Washington and Ronnie Wilson and Yolinda Doss

As the evidence rolls out against the suspected killers of Alphonso Doss, Davis says the state seems to be in good position, but he knows the defense team is working hard too.

"They'll find a defense. Right now, unknown, only what I've read in the news media, and sometimes you get it right, but you may get it wrong, but it appears it may be a slam dunk case for the state," Davis said.

Part of the case is coming to light with the photos and documents released to News4Jax Friday.

Narrative from investigating officers is also being released, detailing how one detective confronted Doss' wife, Yolinda Doss, about the death benefit. Two insurance companies, and a total payout of $1 million.

According to Davis, "I guess for the love of money, a million dollars, and it looks like they were going to split that. I think that would be enough to convict, if need be, on first degree murder."

Mrs. Doss contended that Alphonso Doss was depressed, alcoholic, bipolar and possibly schizophrenic.

Another detective said that when he interviewed Yolinda Doss, she showed pictures of damage in their home, caused by Commander Doss when he was drinking.

The detective said Yolinda Doss also produced pictures of the hotel room with bottles of alcohol laying around.

Prosecutors say in their interview with one of the doctors for Al Doss, they said he "suffered from normal life stresses."

As part of the discovery process evidence collected can be released under Florida Sunshine laws.

Part of the information released was the military record for Doss showing that he earned many commendations, including meritorious service, and a joint service achievement medal for duties in Guantanamo Bay associated with the terrorism detainees.

Photos taken by crime-scene investigators show the outside of the Astoria Hotel, and then things detectives found in the parking lot, including a mobile phone and hotel key cards.

Other photos show the interior of the commander's room, including a book with his Navy photo on it. There are Navy caps in the closet and what appears to be a small blood stain on a pillow.

Also among the photos is a bag of pill bottles, and the Navy ID card belonging to Cmdr. Doss.

The documents include a sworn statement by Yolinda Doss in which she describes her husband's struggle with alcoholism and depression.

The commander's father confirmed the struggle with alcohol but said he was shocked to hear investigators link his daughter-in-law to his son's killing.

All three accused are working their way through the pretrial process and have court dates next month. No trial date has been set. 

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Doss was found dead in a room the Astoria Hotel in Orange Park.

About the Author:

Kent Justice co-anchors News4Jax's 5 p.m., 10 and 11 p.m. newscasts weeknights and reports on government and politics. He also hosts "This Week in Jacksonville," Channel 4's hot topics and politics public affairs show each Sunday morning at 9 a.m.