Update: Tuesday, December 2, 2014  11:19 am EST


James Edward Cooke's execution was scheduled for 12:01 am EST, on Thursday, December 4, 2014, at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyra, Delaware.  His execution has been stayed.  Forty-three-year-old James is convicted of raping and murdering 20-year-old Lindsey M. Bonistall, a University of Delaware student from White Plains, New York, on May 1, 2005.  James has spent the last nine years on Delaware’s death row.  


James' execution was stayed by New Castle County Superior Court Judge William C. Carpenter, Jr. to allow time for the United States Supreme Court to consider his appeal.  James' attorneys are arguing that James should have been given additional time to prepared for his trial after he fired his court-appointed attorney and chose to represent himself.


James had a difficult childhood during which, he was abused.  He began getting into trouble at the age of 10.


Shortly after 1 am on May 1, 2005, Lindsey returns to her apartment after spending time with friends.  Not long after Lindsey returned, James Cooke broke into her apartment and raped and strangled Lindsey to death.  In an attempt to divert the police investigation, Cooke, who is black, wrote several white-supremacist graffiti on the walls of the apartment.  He also wrote “KKK” near the door to the apartment.  Cooke doused Lindsey’s body in bleach, placed her in the bathtub, and set her on fire.  Police discovered her body after firefighters were called to the scene.


A few days before Lindsey’s murder, Cooke had broken into the homes of two other women in Newark, Delaware, robbing each of them.  Police found at least two of the missing items from the first robbery in Cooke’s home.  After the second robbery, Cooke attempted to use a stolen credit card, but the woman had already cancelled the card.  The credit card company reported the attempted use to the police, who were able to obtain a picture of Cooke from a surveillance camera.  


After killing Lindsey, Cooke abruptly quit his job and left for Atlantic City, committing several other crimes along the way.  Cooke was eventually arrested on June 7, 2005, in connection with the murder of Lindsey.  DNA evidence linked him to the crime.  Cooke claimed he was friends with Lindsey and did not murder her.


The execution of James Cooke will likely be stayed to allow him to complete his federal appeals.


Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Lindsey and for all those who were injured by James’ crimes.  Please pray for the strength for the family of James.  Please pray that James may come to find peace through  personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.  



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