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Joseph Christopher Cowan Sentenced to LWOP in 2015 AL Robbery and Murder of Antonio Hernandez and Joshua Davis - Page 2
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Thread: Joseph Christopher Cowan Sentenced to LWOP in 2015 AL Robbery and Murder of Antonio Hernandez and Joshua Davis

  1. #11
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    'They were gloating about what they had done:' Co-defendant testifies in double murder trial


    By Ashley Remkus
    AL.com

    Amani Goodwin made good on part of his plea deal today, taking the stand today to testify against his accused accomplices in the random slayings of two men in Decatur.

    Goodwin explained to the jury how he and three other young people went on a crime spree through the southwest side of the city in May 2015, committing multiple armed robberies, killings and shootings into homes. Goodwin, now-20, was just 17 at the time.

    He implicated himself as the group's driver and also described Cortez Mitchell's role as an accomplice.

    Mitchell, now-19, is on trial this week in Morgan County Circuit Court. He faces 11 felonies, including capital murder, first-degree robbery and shooting into occupied dwellings. Mitchell was just 16 at the time of the crimes.

    Brothers Joseph and Cedric Cowan also are charged with those crimes and could face trial later this year. The brothers, Goodwin testified, were the ones who gunned down Antonio Hernandez-Lopez and Joshua Davis, both victims apparently chosen at random.

    "They were gloating about what they had done," Goodwin told the jury about the Cowan brothers.

    Being questioned by Morgan County prosecutor Paul Matthews, Goodwin walked the jury through the planning stages and the execution of the crimes. Goodwin said he stopped by the Cowan house to talk to his friend Cedric on May 13, 2015. During the conversation, "something came up about 'hitting licks,' which means robbing people," Goodwin testified.

    Goodwin told the jury he went home for dinner with his family, then returned to the Cowan home later that night. When Goodwin got back, Mitchell, both Cowan brothers and a fifth person were there, he said. They all got in Goodwin's silver Nissan, with the Cowan brothers and the fifth person armed with guns.

    The fifth person hasn't yet been identified, but Goodwin is cooperating with prosecutors to identify him. That suspect could face a robbery charge. Today was the first time the fifth suspect has been mentioned publicly.

    Goodwin told the jury about the first robbery at a playgroud near Julian Harris Elementary. He testified that he stayed in the car while the others robbed a group of teenagers. Cash and cellphones were taken in the robbery.

    Goodwin told the jury the fifth suspect didn't make it back to the car fast enough and got left behind as the other four fled the scene. After that, Goodwin testified they went to Walmart in nearby Moulton. On the way back, the Cowan brothers tried to rob and shoot a man they saw walking down the road in Decatur, Goodwin testified.

    The group of four reconvened the evening of May 15. Goodwin testified he drove and the Cowans brought their guns. Two homes were shot into before Hernandez-Lopez was gunned down at his Albert Street home and Davis was killed in Wilson Morgan Park.

    The victims were robbed of cellphones and cash. Goodwin told jurors the Cowan brothers were the shooters.

    Goodwin pleaded guilty last month to three counts of robbery and two counts of felony murder, records show. Goodwin was 17 at the time of the crimes, and police have said he drove the car that carried the suspects through the crime spree. If convicted by a jury Goodwin could have faced life without parole. Instead, he was sentenced to 20 years for each robbery and life sentence for each murder, leaving him eligible for parole in the future.

    Prosecutors gave Goodwin a deal in exchange for his testimony against Mitchell and the other defendants.

    Mitchell's trial began Monday. Testimony is expected to wrap up as early as Friday, with closing arguments slated for early next week.

    Mitchell has pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.

    Mitchell was a "mentally deficient, mentally challenged" with a mind and maturity "years less than a normal 16-year-old boy," Defense Attorney Joe Propst said. The defense will call few witnesses, he said, and Mitchell won't testify. The issue for the jury, he said, "is did Cortez Mitchell have the mental capacity to decide" to go along with murder?

    Prosecutors have disputed defense evidence about Mitchell's limited mental capacity by showing he tried to destroy evidence. Goodwin testified today that Mitchell tried to conspire with him to blame the Cowans.

    "He wanted me to go along with a story that we were forced and they held guns on us," Goodwin testified. "He wanted me to say they made us do it, that we had no choice."

    http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/201...rt_river_index
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  2. #12
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    Teen found guilty of robbery and felony murder in fatal Decatur shooting


    WAFF 48 Digital Staff

    MORGAN COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - One of the men charged in a murderous 2015 crime spree in Decatur was found guilty by a jury of robbery and felony murder on Wednesday morning.

    Cortez Mitchell, 19 is one of the four men charged in connection with the crime. The other suspects are Cedric Lamont Cowan, Amani Juan Goodwin, and Joseph Christopher Cowan.

    That 2015 spree involved armed robberies, shootings, and the murders of 27-year-old Antonio Hernandez-Lopez and 25-year-old Joshua Davis.

    Officers responded to a report of a shooting in the 100 block of Albert Street in May of 2015, where they found the body of a man in the property's carport. The body had multiple gunshot wounds, according to investigators.

    Police identified the victim as that of 27-year-old Antonio Hernandez. Officials said Hernandez and another person were forced to the ground in another robbery attempt.

    On the following morning, a passer-by discovered a body at a pavilion near Wilson-Morgan Park. Investigators said the victim appeared to have suffered a single gunshot wound to the head.

    Family members later identified the body as that of 25-year-old Joshua Davis of Lacey's Spring; they said charges announced Sunday are not related to this shooting until further investigation indicates a connection.

    Cortez sentencing date is set for April 20 at 1:30 p.m.

    Robbery carries a sentence of 1 - 10 years and felony murder also carries a sentence of 1 - 10 years.

    http://www.waff.com/story/37505181/t...catur-shooting
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  3. #13
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    Teen gets 2 life sentences for 'violent rampage' that included double murder

    By Ashley Remkus
    AL.com

    Cortez Mitchell was sentenced today for his role in a robbery, shooting and killing spree that left two men dead in Decatur.

    Mitchell, now 19,
    was one of four young people accused of going on what prosecutors have called a "violent rampage" through Decatur in 2015. The mid-May crime spree included several armed robberies, shootings into home and the slayings of two men.

    Mitchell was convicted in February of four counts of robbery and two counts of felony murder for the fatal shootings of Joshua Davis and Antonio Hernandez-Lopez.

    Morgan County Circuit Judge Jennifer Howell today handed down four 20-year sentences for the robberies and two life sentences for the killings. The robbery sentences will run concurrently with the first life sentence, which runs consecutively with the second life sentence.

    "This was the most violent rampage and series of crimes committed in the history of Morgan County," said District Attorney Scott Anderson.

    Mitchell and his co-defendants were indicted on 11 charges, including three counts of capital murder. But the jury in Mitchell's case found only enough evidence for the robbery and lesser felony murder convictions. If Mitchell had been convicted of capital murder, he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

    "Judge Howell was limited in the sentence she could impose," Anderson told AL.com. "Given that limitation, we're pleased with the sentence. It was well thought-out, appropriate and just."

    Two of Mitchell's accused accomplices are awaiting trials. Joseph Cowan, now 23 and his brother, Cedric, now 19, are held in the Morgan County Jail. Their cases haven't yet been set for trial. Joseph Cowan could face the death penalty, if convicted.

    The fourth defendant, 20-year-old Amani Goodwin, pleaded guilty in January and agreed to testify in the other young mens' trials. Goodwin is serving life in prison.

    "We offer out continued condolences to the victims--especially the families of Josh Davis and Antonio Lopez," Anderson said. "We're in this for the long haul."

    http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/201...ecatur_al.html
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  4. #14
    Senior Member CnCP Legend JLR's Avatar
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    April 26, 2019

    JUDGE GRANTS MOTION TO CONTINUE MORGAN CO. CAPITAL MURDER TRIAL

    According to court documents, a Morgan County judge has granted the defense's motion to continue the capital murder trial for Joseph Cowan to a later date.

    The trial was originally scheduled to begin on Monday. The motion to continue says the defense needs more time to prepare for the trial after learning about the misconduct of a former Decatur police officer and evidence technician, Jonathan Lowery.

    During a hearing on April 18, Morgan County District Attorney Scott Anderson revealed that Lowery, who worked as an evidence technician in the Cowan case, confessed to stealing from the Decatur Police Department's evidence locker. The theft came to light when Lowery was asked whether he had committed a crime in a polygraph test he was taking as part of his application for a federal law enforcement job. Anderson said there was an Internal Affairs investigation of Lowery.

    The defense has requested a subpoena for files from the Decatur Police Department but has not received the request. In light of this new information, the defense wants more time to prepare for Cowan's trial.

    Cowan is facing several charges, including capital murder, for the 2015 shooting deaths of Antonio Hernandez and Josh Davis. Three others were also charged in this case. Amani Goodwin has already pleaded guilty in the case and Cortex Mitchell was convicted of multiple counts in 2018.

    The state is seeking the death penalty against Cowan

    https://www.waaytv.com/content/news/...509126841.html

  5. #15
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    Joseph Cowan pleads guilty in deadly Decatur crime spree

    By Ashley Remkus
    AL.com

    A man will spend the rest of his life in prison for a 2015 robbery and shooting spree that left two men dead in Decatur.

    Joseph Cowan, 25, pleaded guilty Tuesday to capital murder, robbery and shooting into a building or vehicle. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

    Cowans guilty plea came just days before his trial was scheduled to begin. Prosecutors planned to seek the death penalty.

    It spares the family of the victims a trial and allows him to avoid the possibility of a death sentence, said Decatur attorney Brian White, who represented Cowan along with attorney James R. Mason Jr.

    Morgan County District Attorney Scott Anderson didnt respond to a request for comment. In an interview with AL.com last year, he called the case the most violent rampage and series of crimes committed in the history of Morgan County.

    Cowan is one of four young people from Decatur accused of carrying out the crime spree that included several armed robberies, shootings into homes and the random slayings of two men during mid-May in 2015. Joshua Davis and Antonio Hernandez-Lopez were fatally shot.

    Cowans brother, 20-year-old Cedric Cowan, is awaiting trial on 11 charges, including capital murder. Amani Goodwin is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty last year. And the fourth defendant, Cortez Mitchell, is serving multiple life sentences after being convicted of murder and robbery at a trial last year.

    When the alleged crimes occurred, Joseph Cowan was 20, Cedric Cowan and Mitchell each were 16, and Goodwin was 17.

    Joseph Cowan was the only suspect eligible for the death penalty because the Supreme Court has prohibited execution of juveniles.

    White, Joseph Cowans defense attorney, said this case is a reminder of the importance of funding for education and programs like Decatur Youth Services to keep an eye on and support local youth.

    To see young people for this to be their first intersection with the criminal justice system is just disheartening, he said.

    https://www.al.com/news/2019/09/youn...ime-spree.html
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  6. #16
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    Murder defendant's motion to suppress police statement granted

    By Marian Accardi
    The Decatur Daily

    Less than a week before his case is scheduled for trial, Morgan County Circuit Judge Jennifer Howell on Thursday granted a capital murder defendants motion to suppress a statement he made in a police interview.

    Cedric Cowan, 20, is the fourth and only remaining defendant in a 2015 capital murder case, in which two Decatur men were fatally shot and several people were robbed. Last month, his attorneys filed a motion to suppress the statement he made in a second police interview, two days after his arrest, based on the alleged violation of his juvenile Miranda rights.

    He was 16 when he was arrested.

    A hearing on the motion was held Monday. Cowans trial is set for Wednesday.

    Morgan County District Attorney Scott Anderson declined to comment. Cowans attorneys Brent Burney and Carl Cole couldnt be reached for comment Thursday afternoon.

    In their motion, Cowans attorneys said Cowan was arrested May 17, 2015, and Decatur police Detective Mike Burleson read him his juvenile Miranda rights that night, with Cowan agreeing to speak with the detective.

    Then, on May 19, 2015, Burleson brought Cowan back to the Decatur police interview room after charges against him were upgraded to include charges of capital murder, according to the motion, and Cowan indicated he wanted to speak again.

    Cowan was read the adult Miranda rights and gave incriminating oral and written statements, the motion stated.

    Our position is that it is due to be suppressed, Burney said at the hearing on Monday.

    Attached to the motion are Cowans signed waiver of juvenile Miranda rights on May 17, 2015, and his signed waiver of adult Miranda rights dated May 19, 2015.

    At this point, were not sure wed offer that statement into evidence, Morgan County Assistant District Attorney Paul Matthews said at the hearing.

    The juvenile version of the Miranda rights includes the statement that if a parent or guardian is not present, you have a right to communicate with them, and if necessary, reasonable means will be provided for you to do so.

    https://www.decaturdaily.com/news/mo...0211810e9.html
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  7. #17
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    MAN SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR MORGAN COUNTY DOUBLE MURDER

    By Ashley Thusius
    WAAY News

    A man has been sentenced to life in prison for a double murder in Morgan County.

    According to Alabama court documents, Cedric Cowan was sentenced on Thursday by a Morgan County judge to life in prison without the possibility of parole for his role in the double murder in 2015.

    Cowan was found guilty of capital murder and several other charges back in November of last year.

    He was 16 when police say he and three other men killed Antonio Lopez at his Decatur home and Joshua Davis at Wilson Morgan Park in May of 2015.

    https://www.waaytv.com/content/news/...572773181.html
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

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