University of Delaware Student's Killer Convicted

Nearly seven years after the rape and murder of a University of Delaware student, her killer was found guilty of first degree murder.

A New Castle County Superior Court jury convicted James Cooke of the May 2005 rape and murder of University of Delaware student Lindsey Bonistall in her off-campus apartment in Newark, Delaware. 

After a trial that lasted five weeks the jury deliberated for one day before reaching its verdict on Friday. 

The jury found Cooke guilty of first degree murder, rape, burglary, and arson.

Cooke was also tried and convicted of two nearby burglaries of two young women in the days leading up to the killing. 

"We are grateful for the jury's careful consideration of the evidence and their verdict," prosecutor Steven Wood said.

The next step in the case is the penalty phase, in which the jury will vote whether to recommend a sentence of life in prison or a sentence of death. 

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