Thomas Coffee, who was dubbed the “Craigslist Killer,” was sentenced to life without a chance of parole for killing a person.
A Willow Grove, Pennsylvania resident, Coffee had adopted a cunning way of robbing people who showed up at his designated location to buy the merchandise he listed. However, he went a little far when he killed one such buyer who tried to flee. After a mere five day trial, the jury found him guilty of cold-blooded first-degree murder and announced their verdict for the Craigslist killer: life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Since Thomas Coffee preferred to use the odd-classified listings site Craigslist, he was dubbed the “Craigslist Killer” by the media.
Coffee’s trick was quite simple. He would post ads for ‘items for sale’, with quite lucrative prices. When buyers turned up at the pre-designated place, he would threaten them and rob them at gunpoint. Apparently, he was also charged for four other robberies, at least two of which were executed with similar modus operandi.
Though 25-year-old Coffee would have eventually ended behind bars for robbing people, things took a very ugly turn, when he tried to pull the same trick on 27-year-old Daniel Cook. Cook was lured in with a seemingly fantastic offer on an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) as well as a used Sony Playstation. Cook had turned up with a $1,000 in his pocket to purchase the vehicle and gaming console, when he was accosted by Coffee.
The Craigslist killer managed to rob him, but as Cook tried to flee, he was shot in the back and died on the spot. The case takes a bizarre turn because, despite the conviction, the Craigslist killer still maintains he did not murder Cook,
“I understand everything that happened. And I’m not saying I’m a good guy, but I didn’t have anything to do with this at all.”
Coffee maintains it wasn’t him who pulled the trigger, but it was his friend, who the Craigslist killer identified as ‘Stead’ was the one truly responsible for the murder, reported People. Though he was sentenced, Coffee stated he had left Stead in his place as he vacated the premises.
However, the jury found a live cartridge that matched the shell casings from the gun that killed Cook, at Coffee’s residence, reported NBC Philadelphia. Moreover, the prosecution tore through Coffee’s alibi, reported the Examiner. Speaking about the sentence handed out to the Craigslist killer, Lisa Cook, the mother of late Daniel Cook said,
“The jury made the right call. Justice was done for my son. Now he’ll never be able to hurt anyone else.”
[Image Credit | Ken James/Bloomberg/Getty Images, Philadelphia Police Department]