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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    MD - Heidi Bernadzikowski, 24, dies in contract killing, Dundalk, 20 April 2000

    GREELEY, Colo. -- Homicide detectives from the Baltimore County Police Department arrested a man in Greeley on Thursday in a 12-year-old murder case.

    Alexander Charles Bennett was arrested in the death of Heidi Louise Bernadzikowski, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013

    Detectives said they believed almost from the start that Cooke conspired to kill Bernadzikowski, but they had never been able to prove his involvement until another man, Alexander Bennett, was arrested in January 2012 after police said they discovered DNA evidence linking him to the crime. Police said Bennett, 34, of Greeley, Colorado, identified Cooke as the person behind the killing.

    Investigators said they believe Cooke hired Bennett and another man, Grant Lewis, 35, of Denver, Colorado, through the Internet to kill Bernadzikowski because he wanted to collect a $700,000 insurance policy he purchased on her.

    Lewis was the middle man and stayed in Colorado, while Bennett came to Maryland, strangling and cutting Bernadzikowski's throat, according to police.

    While in jail awaiting trial, Cooke allegedly conspired to hire another inmate at the Baltimore County Detention Center to kill Lewis to prevent him from testifying. He was charged with conspiracy to commit witness intimidation and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013

    A Baltimore County jury has convicted a Colorado man police say was a murder-for-hire "middle man" in the killing of a Dundalk woman 14 years ago.

    Grant Agbara Lewis, 36, of Denver, was found guilty of first-degree murder and a conspiracy charge in the death of 24-year-old Heidi Bernadzikowski...

    Bennett pleaded guilty in March to first-degree murder and testified against Lewis.

    A Pasadena man who is scheduled to stand trial next month in the death of his girlfriend nearly 15 years ago will now face additional charges at the same time.

    Stephen Michael Cooke Jr., 43, is also accused of trying to get someone to hurt a man who he thought would testify against him.

    Baltimore County Circuit Judge Kathleen Cox granted prosecutors' motion Thursday to combine the charges of murder and conspiracy to commit witness intimidation into a single trial, which is scheduled to start Jan. 20.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013

    A Denver man has been sentenced to life in prison in an alleged murder-for-hire plot in Maryland. Grant Lewis, 36, was sentenced Monday in Baltimore County Circuit Court...

    Prosecutors say Lewis was a go-between between the young woman’s boyfriend, Stephen Michael Cooke Jr. of Pasadena, Maryland, and the man prosecutors say he paid to kill her, Alexander Bennett of Greeley.

    Bennett pleaded guilty to murder and is awaiting sentencing. Cooke’s trial is in June.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    June 2015:

    A Baltimore County jury convicted a man Thursday of plotting his girlfriend's murder 15 years ago, bringing a measure of closure for her family members, who said they always believed they would see him brought to justice.

    Jurors found 44-year-old Stephen Michael Cooke Jr. guilty of first-degree murder, solicitation of murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the 2000 death of then-24-year-old Heidi Bernadzikowski.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    August 2015, hit-and-run sentenced to 30 years:

    On Thursday, Judge Kathleen Cox handed down a life sentence for Bennett, suspending all but 30 years. He also will be placed on three years of probation.

    Bernadzikowski's case was unsolved until 2011, when investigators discovered DNA evidence that linked Bennett to her murder scene. Eventually, Bennett implicated Bernadzikowski's boyfriend at the time, Stephen Michael Cooke Jr. Bennett told detectives Cooke enlisted him and his friend, Grant A. Lewis, for the killing.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    August 2015, boyfriend sentenced:

    A man convicted of plotting his girlfriend's murder 15 years ago maintained his innocence Thursday, even as a Baltimore County judge sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole...

    Alexander C. Bennett, 36, entered a plea agreement with prosecutors and testified against Cooke. He admitted to killing Bernadzikowski.

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