Ingo's killer gets seven years

Ingo's killer gets seven years

On Thursday, April 20, a jury found Robert Lee Cooke guilty of maliciously shooting  Ingo, an Albemarle County police dog, and sentenced him to seven years in prison. Circuit Court Judge James Luke denied Cooke’s request to be released on bond until his formal sentencing on June 13.
During the closing arguments, Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Camblos emphasized the series of poor choices Cooke made during a break-in on October 24, 2004. Defense attorney Janice Redinger, meanwhile, stressed “the lies of [Ingo’s handler, Albemarle County Police Officer Andy] Gluba,” calling him “vindictive, lawless, and dangerous.” Camblos reminded jurors that Cooke asked armed officers at the scene to shoot him in the head because he didn’t want to go back to prison. “There was an opportunity for Cooke [to leave] even after shooting Ingo,” Camblos argued, but Cooke chose to stay and would have attempted to shoot Gluba, had Gluba not shot him first.
It took the jury just a few hours to return with a guilty verdict, and the sentencing portion of the trial began. Defense attorney Dana Slater argued that Cooke’s paralysis should be considered during sentencing, whereas Camblos said that while “we all feel sorry for [Cooke] that he’s sitting in a wheelchair,” Cooke’s paralysis “has nothing to do with the shooting of Ingo, and everything to do with [Cooke’s] choices.”
Cooke was visibly upset after jurors returned his sentence. He waved goodbye to his family as police took him away. What followed were emotional displays by Cooke’s family, some shaking with tears, others shaking their heads. Redinger acknowledged her disappointment, adding there would be an appeal.
Camblos said “the Commonwealth feels very good,” about the outcome. Gluba tearfully echoed Camblos’ sentiments, saying he felt the sentence was appropriate. “If it wasn’t for [Ingo], I would not be standing here today.”
On June 13, Cooke will also be formally sentenced for a felony firearm possession, which carries a mandatory minimum of five years in prison. If Judge Luke upholds Thursday’s sentence, Cooke will be eligible
for parole after having served 85 percent of his seven years.

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