Mother of murder victim on arrest of suspect: "I'm glad they got him"
Posted at: 09/13/2012 9:38 AM
| Updated at: 09/13/2012 4:22 PM
By: Amanda Ciavarri | WHEC.com
A family of a murdered 16-year-old says they are relieved. Police have arrested the man they say is responsible for the teen’s death. The arrest comes more than two months after the murder.
Rochester Police say 16-year-old Raven Cooper was shot on Bay Street on July 1. He later died at the hospital. On Wednesday night, police arrested 20-year-old Chonice Stewart and charged him with second-degree murder for Cooper’s death. Stewart was arraigned Thursday morning and pled not guilty.
News10NBC learned in court that Stewart is from Rochester. A handful of Raven Cooper’s family was in court for the arraignment. News10NBC spoke to them after. Cooper’s mother said it was hard to see the man police say killed her son, but it does bring her some relief.
Mahogany Dodd, Raven Cooper’s mother, said, “My son definitely shouldn’t have been gone before me. It was not expected.”
After more than two months, Mahogany Dodd received a call Wednesday night that police have arrested the man they believe shot and killed her 16-year-old son, Raven Cooper.
Dodd said, “We screamed, just joy that now my son can at least rest in peace and we can be a little settled as far as him not walking these streets because somebody else could have got hurt by this person.”
Her son was in the eighth grade at North S.T.A.R Education Program. Dodd says he was just about to learn how to drive and had so much to look forward too.
Dodd said, “I can’t have my son back, that’s the truth, but him being here that night there is a big relief. Though it puts a knot in my stomach to see him I’m glad they got him.”
According to court paperwork, 20-year-old Chonice Stewart shot Raven Cooper just before 10:00pm on July 1 on Bay Street. Cooper later died at Rochester General Hospital. Rochester Police won’t comment on what a motive may have been, or if the victim and suspect knew each other, but they do say it was good police work that put Stewart behind bars.
Captain Lynde Johnston, Rochester Police, said, “We had a warrant out for this individual. there was a call for domestic violence and they put the person's name over the air, and officer Michael Yazback remembered and radioed ahead to patrols that this guy was actually wanted for murder.”
Dodd said, “It’s been real hard. It’s real painful and I just really hope no other mother has to go through this.”
The judge ordered Stewart to be sent to the Monroe County Jail with no bail and no release. He is expected to be back in court on September 18.
After he entered his not guilty plea, as he was walking out, he turned and said something to Cooper's family. News10NBC wasn't able to hear what he said, but the judge did and ordered him to either apologize, or spend 15 days in jail. He did apologize, but by then most of Cooper's family had already left the court room.