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NC court denies new trial for convicted serial killer

Posted March 7, 2012

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— The North Carolina Court of Appeals on Tuesday denied a new trial for a Raleigh man serving life in prison for the shooting deaths of five men.

Samuel James Cooper, 35, was convicted April 6, 2010, on five counts of first-degree murder in the shootings, which happened in Wake County in 2006 and 2007.

He admitted to the crimes in 2007 after an unrelated bank robbery in which the gun he used was linked to ballistic evidence found at some of the murder scenes.

The three-judge appeals panel wrote in its opinion that it unanimously disagreed with Cooper's attorneys that the court erred when it allowed jurors to hear his confession to the crimes.

Appellate attorneys argued that Cooper was coerced into confessing and that his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent was violated.

They also argued that Superior Court Judge Henry Hight failed to properly instruct the jury in determining whether Cooper acted deliberately, one of the required findings for a first-degree murder conviction.

Defense attorneys claimed that Cooper did not have the capacity to weigh the consequences of his actions because he was in a delusional state at the time of the shootings.

Prosecutors, however, said he knew what he was doing and went to great lengths to hide evidence that could link him to the crimes.

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  • barbstillkickin Mar 8, 2012

    Is it true that the Justice system actually made a right move for a change. Wow I am very impressed.

  • timmystrickland402 Mar 7, 2012

    He should have gotten 5 consectitive life sentences

  • sunshine1040 Mar 7, 2012

    if we gave him the death penalaty he would never run out of appeals, we know he was impaired because a sane person does not kill [just because] but he did know what he was doing and that tere are laws against murder

  • kodac31 Mar 7, 2012

    CAN SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME HOW A "SERIAL KILLER" DID NOT GET THE DEATH PENALTY??? HE KILLED 5 PEOPLE!! IF THERE IS EVER A CASE FOR THE DEATH PENALTY....THIS IS ONE OF THEM! SHAME ON WHOEVER DIDN'T BRING THE DEATH PENALTY, EITHER DA's OFFICE OR JURY!!!

  • jackd418 Mar 7, 2012

    @piene2.Why do that to the baboons?

  • BlahBlahBlahBlahBlah Mar 7, 2012

    Physical Evidence?
    Wow..

  • dmccall Mar 7, 2012

    Hmm. He doesn't LOOK guilty.

  • Glorytown Mar 7, 2012

    Only thing I see wrong is he got life. Give him his new trial with the stipulation that the stakes are higher. Freedom or needle. Nuff said!

  • piene2 Mar 7, 2012

    "The only thing that could make this better would have been reading he was given the death penalty.
    kermit60"

    Why not feed him to rabid baboons while you're at it?

  • johnny2times Mar 7, 2012

    how delusional could he have been when he shot an d killed 5 people? I don't know how defense lawyers sleep at night...oh wait! all they see are dollar signs...

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