Trial date set for Lakem­per case

The Covington News - - Front page - By Am­ber Pittman apittman@cov­

More than five years af­ter the death of ho­tel clerk Wendy Car­tledge-Carter, her al­leged shooter, Cobey Wade Lakem­per, is sched­uled to face a Newton County jury in a death penalty trial.

On Aug. 3, 2005, Lakem­per, 33, of Sedalia, Mo., al­legedly be­gan a vi­o­lent, multi-state crime spree that left three peo­ple dead.

It be­gan at the Clar­ion Ho­tel in Kansas City, Mo., where he al­legedly robbed a ho­tel clerk. On Aug. 7, he al­legedly mur­dered an el­derly North Carolina cou­ple, Wil­liam Den­nis Cov­ing­ton, 72, and his wife, Joyce, 65, in their home.

Eleven days later, Lakem­per was reg­is­tered at the Com­fort Inn on Ga. High­way 142 where Car­tledgeCarter had been a clerk for four years. She was shot on her 41st birth­day and iden­ti­fied her shooter as Lakem­per.

In a state­ment, Car­tledge-Carter said that she

re­mem­bered Lakem­per be­cause she and an­other clerk had a dis­cus­sion when they saw him about how hand­some they thought he was.

When de­tec­tives en­tered Lakem­per’s room, they found a note that said, “I heard you guys com­ing, I had to leave.” It was re­port­edly signed “Cobey.”

He was ar­rested in a bar in Jack­son, Tenn., on Aug. 24, 2005, af­ter some­one rec­og­nized him from the Amer­ica’s Most Wanted web­site. The gun used in Car­tledge-Carter’s shoot­ing was re­cov­ered when mem­bers of the U.S. Mar­shal’s Ser­vice ar­rested him with­out in­ci­dent.

He was trans­ported to Stokes County, N.C., where the Cov­ing­tons were killed and stayed there un­til Novem­ber 2005 when he was in­dicted and the District At­tor­ney there an­nounced they would seek the death penalty against him.

On Dec. 4, 2006, he was booked into the Newton County De­ten­tion Cen­ter and charged with felony murder, armed rob­bery, pos­ses­sion of a firearm dur­ing the com­mis­sion of a felony, ag­gra­vated bat­tery and pos­ses­sion of arms by a con­victed felon. The District At­tor­ney is seek­ing the death penalty in the case.

Jury se­lec­tion in the trial is sched­uled to be­gin on March 7 in the court­room of Su­pe­rior Court Judge Sa­muel Ozburn.


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