WILMINGTON, Del. (WBOC/AP)- Prosecutors say death is the "only appropriate penalty" for a former death row inmate convicted of raping and killing a University of Delaware student in 2005.
The penalty phase of the retrial of 41-year-old James Cooke Jr. started Wednesday. Cooke was found guilty last week of 10 charges, including first-degree murder, rape and arson in the death of 20-year-old Lindsey Bonistall.
Prosecutors say that in 2005, Cooke broke into Bonistall's off-campus apartment in Newark, Del., and raped and strangled the woman. Court records show that Cooke took her body and placed it in the bathtub before he set the apartment on fire. He was sentenced to death for the murder in 2007, but the state Supreme Court overturned the conviction in 2009. The public defenders argued on Cooke's behalf, without his consent, that he was guilty of the crime but is mentally ill.
Prosecutors on Wednesday presented Cooke as a life-long criminal, despite his claims of innocence regarding this case. His criminal history includes 18 convictions as a juvenile and eight more as an adult.
Jurors will determine whether or not Cooke will be executed.
Friday, May 24 2013 8:17 AM EDT2013-05-24 12:17:57 GMT
DOVER, Del. - New homes are popping up across Delaware."Our builder members are saying that their traffic has increased at their sale sites. People are coming back. They're buying sooner," said HowardMore
Friday, May 24 2013 8:01 AM EDT2013-05-24 12:01:13 GMT
WICOMICO COUNTY, Md.- Another Wicomico County community has private wells with contaminated ground water. Officials in the Wicomico County Health Department say 8 well in the Doe Run subdivision nearMore
Another Wicomico County community has private wells with contaminated ground water. Officials in the Wicomico County Health Department say eight wells in the Doe Run subdivision near Salisbury contain low levels of 1,2 dichloropropane. This contamination, according to officials, is not connected to the TCE that was found in the Morris Mill community.More
Thursday, May 23 2013 4:01 PM EDT2013-05-23 20:01:48 GMT
Federal forecasters are predicting yet another busy hurricane season.More
Federal forecasters are predicting yet another busy hurricane season. Thursday's outlook calls for 13 to 20 named storms, seven to 11 that strengthen into hurricanes and three to six that become major hurricanes.More
Friday, May 24 2013 8:05 AM EDT2013-05-24 12:05:30 GMT
DOVER, Del. - The debate over guns continues in Delaware and people like Emory Lewis of Dover want legislators to do more to get guns off the streets. "It's too many loose guns running around the streets.More
The debate over guns continues in Delaware and people like Emory Lewis of Dover want legislators to do more to get guns off the streets.More
Thursday, May 23 2013 3:30 PM EDT2013-05-23 19:30:45 GMT
DOVER, Del.- Delaware State Police have arrested two people after they were reported to be stealing wire from an irrigation system outside Dover. David A. Blawn, 42, of Felton, is charged with 10 countsMore
Delaware State Police have arrested two people after they were reported to be stealing wire from an irrigation system outside Dover.More