MUR­DER

Cecil Whig - - LO­CAL -

Drive in Elk­ton, af­ter the vic­tim had agreed to give them a ride to a nearby bar, po­lice said.

Cooper’s al­leged ac­com­plice is de­scribed in charg­ing doc­u­ments only as a woman.

Af­ter get­ting into the man’s ve­hi­cle, with Cooper po­si­tion­ing him­self in the front pas­sen­ger’s seat and the woman in the back, Cooper started punch­ing the vic­tim in the face and then Cooper’s al­leged ac­com­plice “put some­thing sharp against his neck,” po­lice added.

The sus­pects stole the man’s wal­let con­tain­ing $1,300, a driver’s li­cense and a debit card, and then they ran away and were last seen

head­ing to­ward Road A in the ad­ja­cent Hollingsworth Manor neigh­bor­hood, po­lice re­ported.

Elk­ton Po­lice Depart­ment of­fi­cers, who were dis­patched to the scene, no­ticed as­sault-re­lated swelling un­der the vic­tim’s right eye, po­lice said. Af­ter de­vel­op­ing in­for­ma­tion, po­lice added, in­ves­ti­ga­tors showed the vic­tim a photo lineup of pos­si­ble sus­pects.

“When I pre­sented this photo lineup to (the vic­tim) he, with­out hes­i­ta­tion, picked Kevin Cooper as the male sus­pect,” EPD Ofc. Den­nis LaSassa wrote in his state­ment of prob­a­ble cause.

Cooper, who spent 11 days in the Ce­cil County De­ten­tion Cen­ter af­ter EPD in­ves­ti­ga­tors ar­rested him in the armed rob­bery case on April 6, gained his pre-trial free­dom by post­ing a $150,000

bond on Sun­day, ac­cord­ing to court records.

(But on Wed­nes­day, three days later, Cooper was back in that jail af­ter in­ves­ti­ga­tors ar­rested and charged him in the bur­glary case, po­lice re­ported.)

On March 6, ex­actly a month be­fore his ar­rest in the armed rob­bery case, Cooper was re­leased from that same county jail af­ter a Ce­cil County Cir­cuit Court jury found him “not guilty” of two counts of first-de­gree mur­der and sev­eral other charges at the con­clu­sion of week-long trial.

Cooper stood ac­cused of break­ing into a home in the 100 block of West Park­way in the Glen Farms neigh­bor­hood on the night of Feb. 22, 2015, and killing the home­own­ers, Earl Loomis, 79, and his wife, MaryAnn, 76, by as­phyx­i­at­ing them, be­fore steal­ing nu­mer­ous guns, credit cards, money and a pickup truck.

One of his three co-de­fen­dants, Der­rick La­monte Car­roll, 26, also of Elk­ton, also stands ac­cused of break­ing into that home be­fore suf­fo­cat­ing the cou­ple and rob­bing them. Charged with two counts of first-de­gree mur­der and eight other of­fenses, Car­roll, who re­mains in cus­tody with­out bond, did not a have trial date sched­uled as of Wed­nes­day.

(In De­cem­ber 2014, two months be­fore the dou­ble mur­der in Glen Farms, pros­e­cu­tors dis­missed all charges against Cooper and Car­roll in an un­re­lated case in which they stood ac­cused of com­mit­ting a quick se­ries of armed rob­beries at the Knights Inn mo­tel in Elk­ton in Fe­bu­rary 2014. Pros­e­cu­tors cited a lack of co­opera- tion from the four vic­tims, who were mo­tel guests when robbed, as the rea­son for drop­ping the cases against Cooper and Car­roll.)

Cooper’s other two code­fen­dants in the dou­ble­mur­der case — Azu Azue­wah, 26, and Azue­wah’s pur­ported live-in girl­friend, Ellen Lough, 28, of Port De­posit — are serv­ing prison sen­tences af­ter ac­cept­ing plea deals. Both par­tic­i­pated in the plan­ning of the crime, and Azeuwah served as the driver to the vic­tims’ Glen Farms home.

In Cooper’s dou­ble-mur­der case, ju­rors de­lib­er­ated about 10 hours af­ter last month’s trial be­fore re­turn­ing “not guilty” ver­dicts on all 10 charges against him.

The jury had no foren­sic ev­i­dence to con­sider be­cause the in­trud­ers had mired the crit­i­cal ar­eas of the home with var­i­ous sub­stances, pre­vent­ing crime scene tech­ni­cians from lift­ing fin­ger­prints and gath­er­ing DNA sam­ples.

An ex­on­er­ated Cooper was re­leased from jail on March 6, shortly af­ter his ac­quit­tal in the dou­ble-mur­der case.

But now, as a re­sult of his al­leged par­tic­i­pa­tion in the in­ci­dent on Hunts­man Drive ear­lier this month, Cooper is charged with armed rob­bery, first-de­gree as­sault, reck­less en­dan­ger­ment, theft of more than $1,000 and less than $10,000 and eight other of­fenses, court records show. He also is fac­ing two charges in the bur­glary case.

Cooper is sched­uled for a May 6 pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing in his armed rob­bery case and a June 6 trial in his bur­glary case, ac­cord­ing to court records.

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