Cache man found guilty of kidnapping and rape; faces 7 life sentences

LAWTON-- Bennie Cooper was found guilty on all counts Thursday evening in his rape and kidnapping trial.  A Comanche County jury deliberated for about an hour before returning its verdict.  The panel heard a little more than two days of testimony, mostly from the prosecution, during the trial.

The victim had testified about the details of the assault, which happened in April 2004.  She told the jury that Cooper had tricked her into going for a ride in his semi truck, and that's where he assaulted her.  She said she did not try to get out of the truck because she had no idea where she was.

In the state's closing arguments, Assistant District Attorney Eddie Valdez reminded the jury of the recorded conversations Cooper had with his wife, who is the victim's mother and how he told her that "he messed up" and blamed his actions on drugs.  Valdez said this amounted to a confession.

The jury recommended Cooper serve seven life sentences; one for each felony count he faced.

A judge will rule on that recommendation at a formal sentencing hearing in July.