Teen pleads not guilty in random killing
A Winnipeg teen has pleaded not guilty in the random killing of Audrey Cooper outside her Spence Street home.
The now 18-year-old man is on trial charged with second-degree murder.
The accused was one of four youths arrested following the October 2006 death of Cooper, 34. Two girls, both 14 at the time of Cooper’s death, have since pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.
A third girl, who was 12 at the time of the killing, pleaded guilty to manslaughter. She is expected to testify against the accused.
The Crown alleges the youths attacked Cooper on her porch after she returned home from a trip to a convenience store to buy a lottery ticket.
“She had no idea this simple act of hope would be one of the last things she did,” said Crown attorney Ami Kotler in his opening address to jurors.
Cooper was mercilessly beaten and stripped naked.
“She was beaten from the top of her head to the end of her toes,” Kotler said.
Cooper suffered more than 60 distinct injuries, including seven broken ribs, a punctured liver and a severed ear.
Kotler said police questioned the accused in connection with a separate attack in the area when he implicated himself and the three girls in Cooper’s death. “I only punched her once in the head but didn’t have anything to do with her dying,” he allegedly told police.
The trial is scheduled to begin in one month.
Trial begins for accused in Cooper death
A jury trial has begun for a Winnipeg man accused in the brutal beating death of a woman outside her West End home.
The man, who can't be identified because he was 15 at the time he was charged in the death of Audrey Cooper, pleaded not guilty on Monday to second-degree murder.
The Crown and the man's lawyer agree that Cooper, 34, was beaten as she stood outside her home at 548 Spence St. on Oct. 21, 2006.
The issue is whether he participated in the beating, and if so, if played a "meaningful and significant role" in it, Justice Holly Beard told the eight-man, four-woman jury.
Cooper's death caused outrage in the West End and in the Manitoba legislature, where some politicians called for parents to be held accountable for criminal acts committed by their children.
The trial is slated to last three weeks, but Beard said it may proceed into July.
Under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, the man faces a maximum sentence of four years in custody and three years of community supervision.
He has been behind bars since his arrest a few days after Cooper died.
The Crown has not indicated whether it will seek an adult sentence in the case if the jury finds the man guilty.