48-Year-Old Man Guilty in St. Joseph Man’s Death
A 48-year-old man has been convicted in the beating death of another man in St. Joseph.
The St. Joseph News-Press reports that Hank Cooper pleaded guilty Tuesday in Buchanan County to involuntary manslaughter in the June death of 36-year-old Robert Martinez.
Cooper said he fought with two men after finding a man on his bed and running him out of his house. He said that during the fight, he swung a board because one man was coming after him with a knife.
The judge interrupted Cooper at one point, saying that his statement could lead a jury to find him not guilty under a self-defense doctrine. Cooper said he wished to plead guilty, and the prosecution argued that Cooper wasn't acting in self-defense.
Sentencing is set for Jan. 8.