Baton Rouge man convicted in 3 shooting deaths

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - An East Baton Rouge Parish jury convicted a 24-year-old Baton Rouge man on three counts of first-degree murder after deliberating for about 90 minutes.

Courtney Williams stood emotionless inside state District Judge Richard Anderson’s courtroom Thursday night as a jury of six women and six men convicted him in the killing of 19-year-old Clarissa Cobbing, 18-year-old Britney Lee and 76-year-old Josephine Lathers in September 2011.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1hHD6Vs) Williams was Cobbing’s former boyfriend. Lathers was Lee’s great-grandmother.

Anderson will sentence Williams to life in prison on March 28.

Prosecutor Dana Cummings, who spoke with jurors before leaving the courthouse, said she was very relieved and happy for the victims’ families.

“They (the jury) thought that the evidence was strong,” she said. “They thought the threat phone call was the coup de grace.”

In that recorded Feb. 8 prison phone call, which the jury heard earlier Thursday, Williams allegedly made threats against witnesses in the triple-murder case and mentioned his then-upcoming trial.

Jurors also listened to a series of 911 calls that Clarissa Cobbing made less than three weeks before the fatal shootings, reporting to police that Williams had threatened her, beat her and twice kidnapped her toddler. Baton Rouge police have said they consider the shootings acts of domestic violence.

Authorities have said Williams was not arrested, prior to the fatal shootings, in any of the alleged incidents leading up to the killings because police could not find him.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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