The second murder trial in the case of a Fred Cooper who is accused of killing a Gateway couple in 2005 is on schedule to begin
in two weeks tomorrow in St. Petersburg, Florida. Both parties say they are ready to proceed to trial on February 17th. (And wouldn’t you know, I have appointments on Wednesday and Thursday. Darn.)
Fred Cooper, 30, is charged with first degree murder for the deaths of Steven and Michelle Andrews, who were found killed in their Gateway bedroom in Lee County two days after Christmas in 2005.
Cooper’s original trial, in October, ended in a hung jury. This second trial has been moved to Pinellas County from Lee County.
In some DNA testing that has been done since the first trial, results show that Cooper’s DNA profile did not match any of the 12 blood, hair and tissue samples that were found on a sheet and pillow case at the scene of the crime in the murdered couple’s bedroom.
In the first trial, as I recall, there was some DNA testimony of material underneath the fingernails of Michelle Andrews that did not exclude Fred Cooper, which sounded pretty weak to me. Now we have further and more extensive DNA testing that does not match Cooper.
I hope this trial will be covered by TruTV as the first trial was. Cooper will face the death penalty if convicted.
This case has a few twists and turns involving infidelity, a small child left at the crime scene with his murdered mother and father on the day after Christmas with Christmas tree and decorations still up, with no murder weapon ever being found, and now no conclusive DNA. It should be a trial worth watching.
Fred Cooper is on trial for two counts of first-degree murder in the December 2005 deaths of a Gateway couple. Police received a 911 call the morning of Dec. 27, 2005, and the discovery of a toddler, Lucasz Andrews, alone in a home in Gateway in south Lee County with the bodies of his parents. Steven Andrews, 28, had been shot in the head. Michelle Andrews, 28, had been beaten and suffocated. Jurors heard final arguments in the case on Tuesday, October 14. The judge was forced to call the case a mistrial Friday, October 17 after the jury couldn’t decide Cooper’s fate. The trial has moved to Pinellas County and will begin Feb. 17, 2009 in Clearwater.