Jury Suggests Death in UDel Student Murder

Jury recommends death penalty, again, in Bonistall murder trial

Thursday, May 3, 2012  |  Updated 4:01 PM EDT
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Jury Suggests Death in UDel Student Murder

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A Superior Court jury is recommending the death penalty for a man convicted of killing University of Delaware student Lindsey Bonistall in 2005.

Jurors deliberated only a few hours before voting 11-to-1 Thursday that James Cooke Jr. be executed for the murder of the 20-year-old Bonistall.

Cooke was found guilty last month of first-degree murder, rape, burglary and arson.

Under Delaware law, a judge will have the final say on whether Cooke is sentenced to death or face a life behind bars.James+Cooke+was+found+guilty+of+raping+a+killing+20-year-old+University+of+Delaware+student+Lindsey+Bonistall+in+2005.

Cooke was sentenced to death in 2007 for Bonistall's murder, but the Delaware Supreme Court overturned his conviction in 2009 because his lawyers, without Cooke's consent and despite his repeated claims of innocence, argued he was guilty but mentally ill.

Prosecutors said Cooke broke into Bonistall's off-campus apartment and raped and strangled her before placing her body in a bathtub and setting the apartment on fire.


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