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Text messages, surveillance video build case in Doss murder case

Estranged wife, 2 men accused of killing commander to collect life insurance


ORANGE PARK, Fla. – Documents being used to build the case against the estranged wife and two men accused of killing Navy Cmdr. Alphonso Doss last year reveal new information about his death.

Doss, 44, was strangled in an Orange Park hotel room last February. His estranged wife, Yolinda Doss, along with Anthony Washington and Ronnie Wilson II are charged with second-degree murder.

Investigators say Washington and Wilson tried to make the killing look like it happened during a burglary while Yolinda Doss served as a lookout. Court records indicate authorities believe the motive was collecting on the commander's $1 million life insurance policy.

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

Search warrants allowed investigators to access all three of the suspects' cellphones, and communications leading up to the slaying shows the close relationship between the three and what appears to be their desire for Cmdr. Doss' death.

"He is becoming more and more inconvenient," Yolinda Doss allegedly wrote about her husband in a text message found among the deleted messages on her phone. It was sent little more than a month before months before he was strangled to death.

IMAGES:  Evidence photos from scene of Cmdr. Doss' murder

In other text message exchanges, Washington, a man Yolinda admitted to having an affair with, talked with Yolinda Doss about her estranged husband becoming aggressive.

Doss: "The a**hole locked himself in my other office upstairs and he won't leave. This is why my eye was hurting."
Washington: "Is he passed out"
Doss: "Drunk but not passed out just being an ass and wont leave."
Washington: "U up there with him?"
Doss: "Just chill"
Washington: "Want it to happen tonite?"
Doss: "No"
Washington: "Yes...should I leave?"
Doss: "I'm scared."
Washington: "Go downstairs."

Among the evidence in the court file is, surveillance video shows a silver Nissan Titan Extended Cab truck driving by Doss' room at 3:23 p.m. One minute later two people were seen entering Cmdr. Doss' hotel room using one of the keys made for and given to Yolinda Doss earlier that day.

Based on height, investigators believe these two people to be Washington and Wilson. At that same time, phone records reveal the phone believed to be used by Anthony Washington placed a call to Yolinda Doss' cellphone.

In the next 23 minutes, four phone calls were made between Yolinda Doss' phone and Anthony Washington's phone.

At 4:08 p.m. the surveillance video shows who investigators believe to be Cmdr. Doss trying unsuccessfully to get into his room, then going to the lobby. Investigators say it is perhaps because his card doesn't work. 

He then walks into his room minutes later, and around the same time, Yolinda Doss' car is seen pulling into the parking lot across the street.

Minutes after Cmdr. Doss enters the room, Yolinda Doss goes into the lobby to drop off his mail. At 4:49 p.m. two people are seen exiting room 183, then one minute later the silver Nissan Titan is seen leaving the Astoria Hotel parking lot.

Cmdr. Doss is never seen on that video again.

Later, investigators say Wilson and Washington all met at Yolinda Doss' home for dinner.

Both men told investigators they were at the gym, then at Washinton's parents house, but investigators found out Washington's father owns a silver Nissan Titan, which he let's his son use.

Investigators said Yolinda Doss actually went and got two keys made to her husband's hotel room, and at some point went to the room and used them. They believe that was an attempt to make sure they would work.

One of those keys was used to enter the room at the same time investigators saw the men believed to be the suspect's on that surveillance video.

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