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James Cooke Gets Death Penalty in Lindsey Bonistall Killing

James Cooke, Mug Shot

James Cooke, convicted twice for raping and murdering University of Delaware sophomore Lindsey Bonistall in May 2005 has been given the death penalty.

Before Superior Court Judge Charles Toliver announced his decision this afternoon, the 41-year old Cooke again proclaimed his innocence and objected to the proceedings.

The judge concluded that the case's aggravating factors out-weighed the mitigating factors.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Cooke did not react.

But, there was a quiet cheer from the side of the courtroom where Bonistall's family sat along with sobsd.

The jury at Cooke's re-trial earlier this year voted 11-1 in favor of death on one count and 10-2 in favor of capital punishment on a second murder count.

There will be an automatic review of the sentence by the Delaware Supreme Court.

Don Rush is the News Director at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.