Local News

Returned Search Warrants Provide New Insight in Cooper Murder Probe

Posted December 17, 2007

— Investigators found a pistol and 23 bullets inside the home of Samuel James Cooper, and six rounds are the type used in at least three of the five homicides he's charged with committing, according to recently returned search warrants.

The Ruger P94 .40-caliber pistol, six 9 mm Luger bullets and 17 .40-caliber bullets were among the 86 items seized from the house that  Cooper, 30, and his parents shared at 2300 Creech Road in Raleigh.

Also seized from the house was dark clothing, including a black security jacket, blue ski mask, a bank bag, $200 in cash, duct tape, white nylon rope and nine cell phones, six of which did not work.

Also listed in the warrant were a "Citizen Against Homicide" document and "Sam Cooper propaganda mail."

Police would not describe those items or comment on the items seized. A spokesman said the list speaks for itself.

Cooper, who was charged Nov. 27 with a string of homicides dating to May 2006, was initially arrested Nov. 21 in connection with a Garner bank robbery. According to the search warrant, dated Nov. 23, police found a 9 mm handgun containing Luger ammunition in a white Dodge Caravan that Cooper was driving at the time. "Luger" denotes a 9 mm bullet of a certain length.

Investigators said it was the same kind of ammunition recovered from the scenes where the victims – Timothy Barnwell, Ricky High and Tariq Hussain – were found.

Barnwell, 34, died April 27 after police found him outside his second-story apartment at Windsor Falls Apartments. Police said his ankles and wrists were bound with duct tape and rope and that he jumped off his apartment's balcony to escape and might have tried to crawl away before he was shot multiple times.

High, 48, was shot and killed near St. Augustine's College on Oct. 12; Hussain, 52, was found dead two days later inside Bobby's Grocery at 3114 Garner Road.

Cooper, 30, was indicted last week on five counts of murder, including the May 12, 2006, shooting death of Ossama "Sam" Haj-Hussein, 43, and June 3, 2006, death of LeRoy Jernigan, 41, of Clayton.

Authorities believe robbery was a motive in all five cases.

According to court records, Cooper has a criminal record dating from 1993 in Wake County. It includes 10 arrests, 19 charges, including assault on a police officer, escape from prison, robbery, assault on a female, drug charges and larceny.

He is also a suspect in one home invasion in Rockingham County and is charged in connection with another one there.

Cooper is being held without bond in the Wake County Jail. Prosecutors are expected to announce next month whether they will seek the death penalty.


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  • retired and luv it Dec 18, 2007

    killing someone for killing someone is just odd to me

    Tell the families of all the victims this to their face and see what they think. Or better yet Mr Cooper needs you on his jury so you can hang the jury since he is such an esteemed part of society. The names of every single person in the judicial, probation, etc. systems that is responsible for this scum being on the street should be published prominently in the media.

  • iamforjustice Dec 18, 2007

    I really feel sorry for Mr. Cooper. Sometimes we do things because we are not loved by our families. If his family had embraced him he would not be in this situation. I hope he finds the Lord and knows that the Lord loves him. I will pray for this man. He will be good again in his heart I am pretty sure.

  • twc Dec 17, 2007

    As many hungry people as there are in the world and we've got to feed him!! What a waste of food!!

  • mrr03 Dec 17, 2007

    The Lawyer for this guy should seek a change of location for the trial..Too much WRAL publicity etc...An effective lawyer could argue that he could not get a fair trial in Wake County.

  • Dragon Dec 17, 2007

    This scumbag shouldn't still be alive! If our legal system was any good, they should have executed him within 72 hours. That's the way some countries do it. Those countries do not have as many idiots on the loose like we do.

    After a little more thought, I wouldn't mind allowing each family member of his victims to go spit in his face (or whatever they wish to do) and then place him in a room the size of my kitchen table for the remainder of his life. Molded bread and wastewater to drink. He is not worth anything more.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Dec 17, 2007

    Notorious THC: Instead of sending your money to keep the dying African children alive, the state will start charging YOU to keep a Convicted Killer Alive. You tell me.... which would be a better use of your money? And I guarantee you, it would be a WHOLE LOT CHEAPER to keep an African child alive! Why would you want to WASTE your money to keep a Killer alive? The answer is, you don't, and you REALLY haven't given your comments serious thought!

  • jsquare8558 Dec 17, 2007

    Notorious THC: The death penalty DOES deter future murders. At least, it deters murders that might be committed by the individual executed.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Dec 17, 2007

    Considering NC doesn't currently have an active Death Penalty, does anyone really care about ANY murder case anymore? I'm losing interest in our justice system and could care less whether this guy is convicted or not. Let him go free. Maybe the scare, of a vigilante family member of the deceased, will be more punishment than our justice system can provide. That's not a joke. Think about it! With no Death Penalty, being put in a posh prison system would be the best alternative for any murderer.

    And YES, I'm talking about North Carolina. Not New Jersey. Why are we not hearing anything in the news about the lack of a Death Penalty in North Carolina?

  • The Fox Dec 17, 2007

    Amen RKBA. The only sure cure is Judge Glock and the 12 jurors.

  • WRALwontdeletemyaccount Dec 17, 2007

    This is the same judicial system that would have you believe that it's in your best interest NOT to own a gun and learn to use it to protect yourself. Instead, you're supposed to believe that this cobbed up, mismanaged and poorly executed hodgepodge is supposed to keep you safe from sociopaths like this gentleman.

    And people BELIEVE them!