Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Coda For Danielle Marie Cooley

Coda: A more or less independent passage at the end of a composition introduced to bring it to a satisfactory close.

Well there certainly isn't anything satisfactory about the sentencing of Danielle Marie Cooley. You can never use a word like that when it comes to a gruesome saga like this. Last week, Ms. Cooley was ordered to serve nine years for her part in the killing of Kelsey Bransby two autumns ago. She was in the dock because she violated the terms of her probation. Not even becoming the state's star witness in the trial of co-defendant, Cole Hopper could bail her out of the hole she dug for herself.

From the moment the gun went off, Hopper was spewing a squalid stream of lies and excuses. He continued them right up until he was hit with nine years this summer. Cooley, pleaded out and was cut a deal in exchange for her testimony, but she refused to stop doing the smoke, or shooting up. After failing a drug test she was ordered to face a judge in early August. Reality and panic set in about the same time she was supposed to show up on the 7th of that month. Facing certain revocation of her probation, she flew the coop.

Her behavior was so bent her first lawyer withdrew from the case. She was rounded up in short order and her second attorney tried to soften the blow by calling a witness from the Cleveland County S-CAP. According to the Facebook page of S-CAP, it began in 2010 through the auspices of the Cleveland County Sheriff's Department. It is a self described, "diversionary and re-entry program for non-violent female offenders incarcerated in the Cleveland County Detention Center for 40 days." The page claims S-CAP has served over 364 women and their children and has reduced recidivism by 70%.

Well, you can't win them all.

The court record shows Danielle Cooley is going away now and before she is released she must successfully complete what is called an RTP program. Basically, it is an extended process of rehabilitation from chemical dependency. There is a long list of steps that are explained, including group and individual therapy, family involvement sessions, and even "spiritual growth." There is a bunch of other stuff too, but in truth, after reading the entire menu you get the idea it should be accompanied by a bunch of happy face emoticons.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Danielle Cooley will turn things around in her life and walk away from this nightmare sober and productive. There is no doubt she'll be older, but the bottom line is there will never be any guarantee she won't latch onto a new needle and start kissing the sky the very moment she gets out. It is, after all, the nature of the beast and she has a real taste for it.

According to the OCIS site she was advised of her appellate rights and is scheduled back in court on November 12, 2014 for a review of her progress. Between now and then she is going to be incarcerated, so we know for certain she will show up for that date.

The only other thing we know for sure is, no matter how long both Cooley and Hopper spend in the clutches of the Department of Corrections, Kelsey Bransby will still be dead.

Tragically, there is no review, or appeals process for her. When you've been killed there is no coda.

sic vita est


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