Judge Sets Execution Date for Delaware Killer - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Judge Sets Execution Date for Delaware Killer

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James E. Cooke Jr. James E. Cooke Jr.

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP/WBOC)- A Delaware judge has set a Dec. 4 execution date for a man convicted of raping and killing a University of Delaware student.

The judge resentenced James E. Cooke Jr. on Monday following the state Supreme Court's rejection of an appeal in July.

The execution date is a formality, however, as a new round of appeals gets under way.

The 43-year-old Cooke was convicted of the 2005 murder of 20-year-old Lindsey Bonistall of White Plains, N.Y. Prosecutors said Cooke broke into Bonistall's off-campus apartment in Newark, Del., and raped and strangled her. Court records show that Cooke took her body and placed it in the bathtub before he set the apartment on fire.

The Delaware Supreme Court overturned Cooke's first conviction in 2007 because his public defenders, without Cooke's consent and despite his repeated claims of innocence, argued he was guilty but mentally ill.

Cooke was retried, convicted and sentenced to death again in 2012.

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