Jury recommends death for ex-con who murdered White Plains college student

Jurors in Delaware have recommend the death penalty Wednesday for the ex-convict who raped and murdered a college student from White Plains.

James Cooke Jr., 36, broke into 20-year-old Lindsey Bonistall?s apartment when she was a sophomore at the University of Delaware in May 2005. After strangling Bonistall, Cooke set fire to her apartment in an effort to cover up the crime. Cooke was found guilty of first-degree murder, rape and other charges on March 8.

A judge will now consider the jury?s recommendation for Cooke to die by lethal injection. However, even if the judge rules that Cooke should die, there's a hold on executions in Delaware, until the courts decide on a separate issue. There is a legal challenge by a death-row inmate who says the drugs used by Delaware for lethal injections are unduly painful. The judge?s decision on Cooke is expected in April.

Related Information Ex-con found guilty in rape and murder of White Plains college student Prosecutors may seek death penalty in murder of White Plains student

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