James Cooke Jr., has been sentenced to death by lethal injection, again, in the rape and murder case of University of Delaware student Lindsey Bonistall.
The ruling came Monday afternoon from Superior Court Judge Charles H. Toliver IV. However, Cooke still claims his innocence. “I never got a fair trial,” said Cooke in the courtroom filled with jurors and Bonistall’s family.
“The verdict I think was fair, it was proven twice now that Lindsey was an innocent victim and that she was killed by a career criminal. The way that Lindsey died was undeserving of any human being,” said Kathleen Bonsitall, the victim’s mother.
The murder of Bonistall who was killed in her off campus apartment in May 2005 went to trial twice, but the guilty verdict in the first trial was later overturned by the Delaware Supreme Court. Cooke represented himself during the retrial earlier this year and received the death sentence.
“It was pretty much anticipated that the judge was going to come down with the death sentence, we were prepared for that, said Anthony Figliola who represented Cooke after Judge Toliver suspended Cooke’s right to represent himself.
An automatic appeal because of the death penalty will be filed in the next few weeks. “You are totally wrong for sentencing me period,” said Cooke after Judge read all the charges in detail.
“What happened here today doesn’t change the fact that Lindsey won’t be getting in the car this afternoon returning home to West Chester, New York with her sister and her dad and her mom….but at least today’s sentence reflects the brutality of Lindsey’s attack and her murder,” said Attorney General Beau Biden who was there during the ruling.
“This isn’t an end for us, this is an end to an arduous process where we had to sit and endure lies about our daughter as a defense, there’s something wrong with that system, it’s broken, it needs to be fixed….victims need a voice and their voices need to be heard,” concluded Kathleen.