Man convicted in rape, murder of University of Delaware student gets death penalty.
The man convicted of raping and killing University of Delaware student Lindsey Bonistall in 2005 has been sentenced to death.
Superior Court Judge Charles H. Tolvier, IV, sentenced James Cooke to death Sept. 17 for breaking into the sophomore's off-campus apartment in May 2005 where he strangled, raped, and killed her. Cooke then set the apartment unit on fire.
In April 2012, a New Castle County jury found Cooke guilty of first degree murder, rape, burglary, and arson and recommended by a vote of 11-1 that Cooke receives the death penalty.
Bonistall was a sophomore from New York attending the Newark-based University.
"Nothing changes the fact that Lindsey will not return home with her mom, dad, and sister to Westchester County today, however, the sentence handed down reflects the brutality of her attack and murder," said Attorney General Beau Biden in a statement released following the sentencing. "Lindsey's legacy lives on every day in many ways, including through her sister and baby niece and through the foundation her mom and dad established which is dedicated to promoting safe and peaceful living environments in off-campus communities."