Jury recommends death in University of Delaware student murder

James Cooke Jr.

May 3, 2012 3:37:40 PM PDT
A Superior Court jury is recommending the death penalty for a man convicted of killing a University of Delaware student in 2005.

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

Under Delaware, the judge will have the final say on whether Cooke is sentenced to death.

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 he 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.


Information from: The News Journal of Wilmington, Del.