An Arizona man is accused of an incredible killing of assassins in which he killed nine people in three weeks, an uproar that would make him one of the most prolific serial killers in the history of the state.
Cleophus Cooksey Jr., 35, was arrested on December 17, 2017, after police responded to a shooting call in Phoenix. When the officers arrived they found that Cooksey's mother and stepfather had died. Police said Thursday they did not link Cooksey to the other homicides until he was in custody.
Other alleged victims of Cooksey include the brother of his ex-girlfriend and several men and women of race and black, white and Hispanic ethnicity, Central AZ reported.
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– Two men, Andrew Remillard, 27, and Parker Smith, 21, who were found dead on November 27.
– A man, Salim Richards, 35, was seriously injured on December 2, and then died on the scene.
– On December 11, Jesús Bonifacio Real, 25, brother of Cooksey's ex-girlfriend, was murdered.
– On December 13, Latorrie Beckford, 29, was shot to death.
– On December 16, 2017, 21-year-old Kristopher Cameron was found shot dead in a field, and on the same day, Maria Villanueva, 43, was found dead. Villanueva was abducted from her apartment, sexually assaulted and killed, police said.
– On December 17, Rene Cooksey, 56, the suspect's mother, and his stepfather, Edward Nunn, 54, were killed. Cooksey was arrested.
Cooksey has a long criminal record, AZ Central reported. The suspect was convicted of murder when he was 18 years old. While in jail, he was convicted of assaulting prison employees, drug possession and fighting. He was released from prison in January 2015 and received a DUI in November of that year.
The suspect was dedicated to rap after his release in prison, with the name "King Playbola". posted videos on YouTube showing their skills.
Cooksey was arrested again in May 2016 for a "technical violation" and returned to prison. He was released on June 20, 2016, but was arrested and booked in December due to another arrest warrant. On July 28, 2017, Cooksey was released. Four months later, he allegedly became involved in the murderous spree.
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Cooksey, the grandson of a civil rights leader Roy L. Cooksey, had a troubled childhood. He moved when he was 16 years old. The suspect said he was abused by his father and that he was hospitalized when he was 12 years old.
The Maricopa County Prosecutor's Office will decide what Cooksey will do during the investigation. The Phoenix police announced that they would hold a press conference at 11 a.m. local time with more information.