Arizona man 35 year-old Cleophus E. Cooksey Jr. was released from prison in July 2017. Cooksey Jr. served 16 years in prison as he was convicted of manslaughter and robbery. It’s hard to believe that he was eligible for release as his prison stint was not peaceful. According to AZ Central, while in prison, Cooksey Jr. was found guilty of 22 different disciplinary infractions while in prison, including assault of prison staff, disobeying orders, fighting, disorderly conduct, possession of drugs and more. Does it sound like he should have been released? Despite his list of infractions, Cooksey Jr. became a free man. However, a few months later, Cooksey Jr. would find himself in jail again.
On December 17th, Cooksey Jr.’s parents were found dead in their home. His mother, Rene Cooksey and her husband, Edward Nunn, was found shot to death and police officers arrested Cooksey Jr. Sadly, while in police custody, officers discovered that Cooksey Jr. had allegedly murdered 7 more people. It is believed that he knew all of his victims.
— Marcy Luganob (@Marceline1) January 18, 2018
Covered in blood, Cooksey Jr. was arrested at his mother’s home. In a few weeks, officers discovered that Cooksey Jr. had reportedly murdered 7 other people. NBC News shared that detectives were able to link Cooksey Jr. and the gun he used to ballistic evidence found at the scenes of several recent homicides. It is alleged that between November 27th and December 17th, Cooksey Jr. went on a murderous rage.
The Victims: Andrew “Andy” Remillard, 27, and 21 year-old Parker Smith were good friends. They two men met at Denny’s and became fast friends. Remillard was like an older mentor for Smith as Smith’s biological father passed away. On November 27th, two men were found dead with one man found outside of the vehicle and another was found inside. Sherene Engen, Remillard’s fiancée, shared that the hardest part about Remillard’s death is that their 2 year-old son cries for his father every day. Recently, they left flowers for Remillard at the spot where he was killed.
He was like, ‘No, we have to take those for Daddy,’ Engen said of the flowers to AZ Central. Engen told their son that Daddy wasn’t coming back, he had died, and they were leaving the flowers there for him. And he cried, Engen said. He still cries about him every day.
AZ Central shared that Cooksey Jr.’s next victim was Salim Richards. On December 2nd, Cooksey Jr. reportedly not only killed Richards but AZ Central reports that Cooksey Jr. robbed him too. After reportedly murdering Richards, Cooksey Jr. allegedly murdered 25 year-old Jesus Bonifacio Real on December 11th. Police believe that Real was in a previous relationship with Cooksey Jr.’s sister.
Cleophus Cooksey Jr. of Phoenix is charged with nine murders, police say, all of which happened in November and December and all victims he knew.https://t.co/39JTSFHYXd
— PhoenixNewTimes (@phoenixnewtimes) January 19, 2018
Arizona Central reports that aspiring EMT and clothes designer 29 year-old LaTorrie Beckford was one of Cooksey Jr.’s victims as well. On December 13th, the Phoenix College was found dead in a parking lot between two buildings. Cooksey was allegedly not done with his killing spree as his next victim was 21 year-old Kristopher Cameron was found in a grassy field about a mile away from where Beckford was murdered. Emergency responders tried to save Cameron as he was taken to the hospital. Tragically, he died the next day.
In addition to his other victims, Cooksey Jr. is accused of abducting 43 year-old mother Maria Villanueva. It is believed that Cooksey Jr. sexually assaulted her as she was found with a bra on and no underwear. After the alleged sexual assault, Cooksey Jr. murdered her and then dumped her body in south Phoenix.
Cooksey Jr. has been charged with nine counts of first degree murder, eight counts of possession of a gun as a felon, theft of a gun, armed robbery and sexual assault. Police are looking into other murders to see whether there might be links to Cooksey Jr.