A Baxter man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison after entering a guilty plea to charges stemming from the shooting death of Damiano Delaney in February of 2013.
Cooper entered a plea of guilty on Nov. 16, according to court documents.
According to a press release, Jody Cooper, 28, appeared with his attorney Otis Doan in front of Harlan Circuit Judge Kent Hendrickson on Wednesday for sentencing. Commonwealth’s Attorney Parker Boggs made the recommendation for the state that Cooper serve 30 years in prison for first-degree manslaughter, second-degree robbery, tampering with physical evidence and abuse of a corpse.
“This is another sad case of illegal drug use and drug abuse destroying the lives of our young people,” Boggs said.
Hendrickson sentenced Cooper to a total of 30 years in prison, including 20 years for first-degree manslaughter, five years for second-degree robbery, five years for tampering with physical evidence and 12 months in county jail for abuse of a corpse.
Cooper was arrested along with a co-defendant, Justin Miller, in March of 2013 following an investigation by Kentucky State Police into the shooting death of Delaney.
A previous report states Kentucky State Police Post 10 received a call on Feb. 16, 2013, in reference to a possible murder at 1413 HWY 522 at Rosspoint. Upon arrival units discovered Delaney deceased in the yard. Cooper and Miller were arrested at the scene and transported to the Harlan County Detention Center. KSP Public Affairs Officer Shane Jacobs said at the time the shooting was possibly drug-related and Delaney had suffered multiple gunshot wounds.
Cooper was arraigned in Harlan Circuit Court on March 7, 2013 on charges of murder, abuse of a corpse, first-degree robbery and tampering with physical evidence. Miller was arraigned on charges of complicity to murder, first-degree facilitating a robbery and tampering with physical evidence.
According to an agreed order of dismissal issued by former Harlan Circuit Judge Henry Johnson, charges against Miller were dropped on Dec. 31, 2014. The order states Miller ran from the scene of the shooting to the residence of Skip Cooper to report Jody Cooper had shot Delaney. Skip Cooper made the 911 call to KSP, stating his brother, Jody Cooper, had shot a man at the house next to his. Skip stated that Justin Miller ran to his house and told him what happened. Miller gave a full statement to KSP of the events leading up to and including the shooting of Delaney. The events witnessed and described by Miller were corroborated by physical evidence.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-909-4132 or on Twitter @joe_hde