The final curtain is on the way down in the tragedy of Kelsey Bransby. Yesterday, Judge Tracy Schumacher sentenced 21 year old Cole Hopper to nine years in prison. According to the judge he must serve at least 85% of his time before he is eligible for parole. The state had asked that he receive a 19 year term.
Arianna Pickard reported in today's Norman Transcript that Hopper addressed both the court and Bransby's family before being read the sentence. He asked for forgiveness from the family and told the court, "I loved Kelsey very much and I never intended what happened to her."
Pickard writes that Bransby's grandmother, Hopper's grandfather, and a Cleveland County Detention Center case worker also testified.
In the story Pickard wrote Judge Schumacher told the defendant, he was irresponsible with guns and was, "so devoid of a moral compass" he left Kelsey Bransby to die.
All that is left now is to see what happens to Danielle Cooley. Cooley was with Hopper in the apartment that fatal day and took off with him after the shooting. She initially stuck to the cover story the two of them cooked up, but finally caved in. Last November she pleaded guilty and was given a 25 year suspended sentence. It was revoked on June 21st and she will appear in Schumacher's court on August 7th for sentencing. If hit with the maximum she could go away for a quarter of a century.
It was a deadly autumn in 2011. There has been no word about Alina Fitzpatrick's death at all. Both the police and media seem to have forgotten her altogether. Carina Saunders' murder investigation was so botched by the Bethany police they had to hand it off to the OSBI. The state agency has been mum about their progress on the case since they took it.
Jaymie Adams' husband has been charged with two counts of manslaughter and Joseph Cyr has been accused of her murder. Police claim Cyr's DNA was matched with DNA found on Adams' body. The D.A. maintains Justin Adams is guilty of manslaughter because he was aiding and abetting her in a criminal enterprise that put her and her unborn child in harm's way.
Once Danielle Cooley is sentenced the murder case of Kelsey Bransby will come to a close as far as the police, court system and media are concerned. It won't really be over though. Her family will still mourn her. Cole Hopper's family will watch their son go into some godforsaken prison and Danielle Cooley will disappear into the bowels of the same department of corrections. Both of them will become, fresh meat.
No, for many this nightmare will never be truly over.
The memories of it will always be vivid. The pain will always be lurking somewhere within.
Such things--both to our detriment and glory--are simply a part of being human.
sic vita est