Lincoln County woman sentenced to life for killing Peytona man

Fred Pace

December 13, 2013

MADISON — A Lincoln County woman was sentenced to life in prison with the recommendation of mercy for the killing of a 71-year-old Peytona man in September 2012.

Maura Perry, 22, of Hamlin was accused in the shooting death of Jimmie Cooper, whose body was discovered Sept. 26, 2012, after his co-workers reported that he had not shown up for work.

Perry was sentenced Thursday in Boone County Circuit Court for a first-degree murder conviction and with the mercy recommendation could be eligible for parole after serving at least 15 years.

Perry pleaded guilty last month.

During the plea hearing, Perry told the judge that she thought about killing Cooper the day before and then made a plan to kill him. Cooper was killed by a single gunshot wound to the head as he lay in his bed in a back room at his home.

At the time of the death, Boone County Sheriff’s deputies reported the decomposing body of Cooper was found inside his trailer home in Peytona. The man had been missing for about a week, police said.

Cooper was first discovered when co-workers were concerned because they had not seen him for several days and failed to report to his job. When checking on Cooper, someone found the door to his residence partially open and notified the Boone County Sheriff’s Office, who checked the home and discovered his body.

The home did show signs of a forced entry and Cooper’s car was missing. The vehicle was recovered in Putnam County, investigators said.

In magistrate court, during a preliminary hearing, a deputy testified that Perry had confessed to the crime, saying she shot Cooper with his own .38-caliber gun as he lay in his bed at his home in Peytona. The deputy said Perry said she had been planning to poison Cooper, but she was not able to get the drugs.

Investigators also said that Perry had an ongoing relationship with the victim and stole property after the alleged murder, which she pawned to facilitate her alleged drug usage.

“I did it for cash,” she told the judge during the hearing.

Deputies recovered Cooper’s car at a park and ride at Scott Depot, in Putnam County, where it had been abandoned. Several items have been recovered from pawn shops in the Kanawha Valley area that belonged to Cooper.