may 3,2012 source : http://www.newarkpostonline.com
A New Castle County Superior Court jury recommended Thursday, in a vote of 11 – 1, that James Cooke receive a death sentence for the May 2005 rape and murder of University of Delaware student Lindsay Bonistall in her off-campus apartment in Newark.
Cooke’s first conviction and sentence, in 2007, were thrown out by the Delaware Supreme Court in 2009 because his public defenders argued that he was guilty but mentally ill, despite the fact that Cooke repeatedly claimed his innocence.
Newark’s fire chief discovered the lifeless body of Bonistall, a University of Delaware junior, in the bathtub of her Towne Court apartment on May 1, 2005 while responding to a report of possible arson. Graffiti written on the apartment’s walls included racially charged words like “KKK” and “White power.” An autopsy revealed that she had been strangled and raped.
Cooke, now 41, who lived about a block away from Bonistall’s apartment complex, was also tried and convicted of two nearby burglaries of two young women in the days leading up to Bonistall’s killing.
Judge Charles Toliver will make the final ruling on whether Cooke will receive life or death. No date has been set for that ruling. Delaware law requires judges to give “great weight” to the jury’s recommendation.
Lindsey Bonistall’s mom : ‘This the end of difficult time’
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