Do you think he deserves such a term?
A white man has been sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of first-degree murder after shooting an unarmed black man. The man called 911 and reported “hoodlums” before he shot 20-year-old Kouren-Rodney Thomas, killing him.
The jury spent less than two hours deliberating on Thursday before finding Chad Copley guilty of premeditated murder. He shot and killed Kouren-Rodney Thomas who was attending a party in the area.
During the trial, prosecutors argued that Copley seemed bent on committing violence when he called 911 and said he was “locked and loaded” to confront those he described as armed “hoodlums.”
CBS reports that he said to the operator, “We got a bunch of hoodlums out here racing. I am locked and loaded and I am going outside to secure my neighborhood. You need to send PD as quickly as possible. I am going to secure my neighborhood. I am on the neighborhood watch. I am going to have my neighbors with me.”
Seven minutes later he called back and stated, “We have a house…we have a lot of people outside of our house yelling and shouting obscenities. I yelled at them ‘please leave the premises.’ They were showing firearms, so I fired a warning shot and we got someone that got hit.”
The defense team admitted that Copley fired the fatal shot at Kouren-Rodney Thomas but argued that he feared for his own well being and was covered under the state’s Castle doctrine.
While on the stand being cross-examined Copley admitted that he escalated the situation and that he lied to the 911 operator. He lied about being on the neighborhood watch and that people were “racing up and down the street” committing acts of vandalism. He also admitted to lying about the shotgun blast he fired being a “warning shot.”
During a victim impact statement, Thomas’ mother Simone Butler-Thomas said, “Not a day goes by, or an hour, or a minute, that I don’t miss him. This is all I have left of him. This is Kouren’s urn that holds his ashes.”