Woman pleads guilty as accessory to 2015 murder

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – A 36-year-old woman is going to prison for her role in a New Hanover County murder.

Jamie Dee Cooper pleaded guilty to Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon and Accessory After the Fact to Murder in the death of William Elliot. 37.

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Cooper will serve between 10-14 years in prison.

On Feb. 28, 2015, Wilmington Police responded to a domestic disturbance at a Market Street motel. Jamie Cooper said Adam Morton had assaulted her before running off. During the investigation, dispatch got a call from Cooper’s brother reporting that she told him someone had been robbed and stabbed at her home on Gale Road. When New Hanover County Sheriff’s deputies got to the home, they found Elliot dead from stab wounds.

According to a news release from the District Attorney’s Office:

During the investigation, detectives learned that on Friday, February 27, 2015, Cooper, Morton and Elliot drove together to buy crack. Cooper and Morton later went again to purchase more crack cocaine. All three used the crack cocaine over the course of the night at her home at 130 Gale Road. Cooper showered and went to bed, leaving Morton and Elliot watching television. Cooper woke up around 8 a.m., and witnessed Morton stabbing Elliot. Cooper went back to her bedroom and Morton came to the bedroom with the victim’s keys and money and said he could now pay rent, he laid $740 laying on the bed.

Morton and Cooper left the home Morton drove Mr. Elliot’s truck and Cooper followed in her own. Their plan was to ditch Elliot’s truck. Morton backed the truck into a parking spot at the boat ramp by the Isabella Holmes Bridge and took the tag off of it, they went to buy more crack. Detectives located the abandoned vehicle in the days following the discovery of Elliot’s body.

Drug dealers were interviewed by vice and narcotics detectives and both admitted to knowing both Cooper and Morton, and they both admitted to selling Cooper and Morton crack cocaine. They gave consent to detectives to search the residence and detectives located and seized crack cocaine. Both dealers were charged with Possession with Intent to Sell and Deliver Cocaine.

Detectives located and seized a duffle bag dropped by the defendant as he fled the Quality Inn when officers were dispatched earlier in the evening. Detectives located and preserved a shoe impression on the top of a vehicle Morton climbed on in order to jump a fence next to the Quality Inn. A shoe impression in dried blood left behind at the crime scene on Gale Road was cut out of the
kitchen floor linoleum and seized by crime scene investigators. These two shoe impressions appear to be consistent. Crime scene professionals located and seized at the crime scene on Gale Road numerous items including four kitchen steak-type knives with dried blood, one that was broken at the handle as if it had been used with force great enough to break the resin handle.

During this time, another team of law enforcement officers were searching for Adam Morton. They tracked him to several locations, but were unsuccessful in locating him. Morton’s family agreed to assist, they set up a meeting with Morton in the parking lot of the Burger King in the 1900 block of 17th Street. Morton did appear, but fled when he observed law enforcement. A perimeter was secured, a K-9 officer with Wilmington Police Department was deployed. Adam Morton was taken into custody after a foot pursuit with a K-9 officer. He was treated for minor bite wounds and then transferred to the New Hanover County Jail on March 1, 2015.

Cooper was interviewed by detectives. She confessed to assisting Morton dispose of the victim’s truck and fleeing with him. Cooper stated that she and Morton discussed burning the victim’s truck, but ended up leaving it at the bridge. Initially, Cooper had not informed law enforcement officers who responded to the domestic altercation at the Quality Inn of the murder when they spoke to her.  She had multiple opportunities to report the killing of Mr. Elliot to law enforcement officers, but did
not do so.

In September, Adam Morton pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 30-38 years in prison.