Thursday, December 27, 2007

Former Firefighter Enrique Torres Jr - Murder of Rebecca Torres

December 27, 2007: Rebecca Torres Murdered By Her Husband, Former Firefighter Enrique Torres of the Mt. Morris Township Fire Department.





MURDERED HIS WIFE, REBECCA TORRES [12/27/2007]
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2007/12/former-firefighter-enrique-torres.html

http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2008/04/becky-burden-torres.html

http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2009/10/oidv-offender-update-enrique-torres.html

ORIGINAL CHARGES:
Murder; two counts of using a gun to commit a felony and assault with intent to murder.












Recent sentencings in Genesee Circuit Court
By Laura Angus
Flint Journal
March 19, 2010, 9:00AM
http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2010/03/recent_sentencings_in_genesee_41.html

• Torres, Enrique Jr., 38, of Flint; 30-50 years MDOC and pay $9,711 restitution for second-degree murder, two counts of felony firearms and assault with intent to murder; Feb. 9, Farah.











Former Mt. Morris Township firefighter Enrique Torres Jr. sentenced for 2007 murder of wife
By Laura Angus Flint Journal
January 08, 2010, 1:46PM
http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2010/01/former_mt_morris_township_fire_1.html

FLINT, Michigan — Former Mt. Morris Township firefighter Enrique Torres Jr. will serve 30 to 50 years in prison for the 2007 slaying of his wife.

Torres pleaded guilty to second degree murder on Dec. 1, stemming from the murder of his wife, Rebecca, 35, at their rented home on LeErda Avenue, just north of Pasadena.

He was sentenced on Friday.

Torres worked for the Mt. Morris Township Fire Department before heading into other ventures about a year before the murder.















Man will spend 30 to 50 years in prison
Friday, January 08, 2010
http://abclocal.go.com/wjrt/story?section=news/local&id=7208349

GENESEE COUNTY (WJRT) -- (01/08/10)--Last month he pleaded guilty, admitting he murdered his wife. Friday, Enrique Torres Jr. learned he will spend the next 30 to 50 years of his life in prison.

At his plea hearing last month, Torres said he and his wife Rebecca Torres got into a fight at their Flint home more than two years ago.

He claims he just snapped and shot her, the mother of his two children.

Torres Jr. sat quiet staring and just listening as his wife Rebecca's family addressed him at his sentencing.

"I just want to tell the court that I'm sorry for everything that's happened," Torres Jr. said. "I want to tell my family I'm sorry everything happened this way."

In December, one day before his trial was scheduled to start, Torres pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and assault with intent to murder for shooting at police when they were trying to arrest him.

He also faces two counts of felony firearm. Torres Jr. said he and his wife got into a fight. He snapped and shot her.








MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO SECOND DEGREE MURDER
WJRT NEWS
DECEMBER 01, 2009

GENESEE COUNTY (WJRT) -- (12/01/09)--There will be no trial for the Flint man accused of murdering his wife and then shooting at police nearly two years ago.

Enrique Torres Jr., 38, pleaded guilty Tuesday to second degree murder, assault with intent to murder and two counts of felony firearm.

Flint police found his wife -- 35-year-old Rebecca Torres -- dead in their LeErda Street home Dec. 27, 2007.

Torres Jr.'s trial was scheduled to start Wednesday. A plea deal was reached Tuesday. Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton says it ensures Torres will spend at least 30 years in prison.

With family members listening and crying, Torres Jr. admitted he shot and killed his wife Rebecca Torres -- the mother of his two children -- nearly two years ago just two days after Christmas.

Torres Jr. told Judge Joseph Farah he used a handgun and he wasn't sure how many times he shot her. Torres also admitted he got into a car, drove away and just rode around for awhile.

Police eventually caught up with him. They were armed and so was he. Torres Jr. was shot by police and arrested.

Torres Jr. will be sentenced in January.













Former Mt. Morris Township Firefighter pleads guilty in murder case
By David Harris
Flint Journal
December 01, 2009, 3:20PM
http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2009/12/former_mt_morris_township_fire.html

FLINT, Michigan — A former firefighter will spend at least 30 years in jail for the December 2007 killing of his wife.

Enrique Torres Jr., 38, of Flint, pleaded guilty to second degree murder on Tuesday, stemming from the slaying of his wife, Rebecca, 35, at their rented home on LeErda Avenue, just north of Pasadena.

“Mr. Torres will spend at least the next 30 years in prison for the brutal murder of his wife," said Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton in a statement. "The victim’s family is satisfied that justice was done and I agree.”

Torres worked for the Mt. Morris Township Fire Department before heading into other ventures about a year before the murder.

His attorney, Jim Zimmer, called it a "tough case."

"We decided to resolve it instead of (taking a chance with a trial)," he said.

Torres will be sentenced at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 8










Rebecca Torres was murdered by her husband, Enrique Torres (Former Firefighter for the Mt. Morris Township Fire Department), on December 27, 2007.






After murdering his wife, Torres fled the scene in his vehicle. When Police eventually pulled Torres over, Torres opened fire on the Flint police officers.






Flint police officers returned fire and shot/injured Torres, who is expected to recover. Torres is facing murder charges on the shooting death of his wife, Rebecca.






Who could be so heartless? Within days of Rebecca's murder/ losing their mother, looters broke into the Torres' home and stole the belongings of Rebecca's teenage children.









Man shot by Flint police after allegedly firing at them
The Flint Journal
Posted by Kim Crawford
December 27, 2007 10:21AM
Categories: Crime, Flint, Top Photos
http://blog.mlive.com/flintjournal/newsnow/2007/12/man_shot_by_flint_police_after.html

FLINT -- Enrique "Ricky" Torres and his wife Rebecca didn't always get along, but family members thought the Flint couple's relationship had been on even keel through the holidays.

"There were times when they were separated, like this summer," said Marcus Burden of Flint, one of Becky Torres' brothers. "But when he was drinking, then there were problems."

About 9 a.m. Thursday, Flint police found Rebecca, 35, shot to death in the home she and family rented at 3809 LeErda Ave., just north of Pasadena Avenue.

About 45 minutes later, a veteran Flint police officer, having received a description of Ricky Torres as a suspect in Becky Torres' slaying, spotted him driving a friend's car about a mile away.

According to police, Torres, an employee at Advance Auto Parts in Mt. Morris and a one-time Mt. Morris Township firefighter, initially refused to pull over. With another officer arriving as backup, Torres pulled over on Mildred Street near Gillespie Avenue.

Then he got out of his car and fired at one of the officers, according to police. The officers, a man and a woman, fired back, striking Torres, 35.

He was listed in stable condition Thursday at Hurley Medical Center after undergoing surgery. He is expected to face a murder charge in the death of his wife.

The couple has two children -- one a teen and one a middle-schooler, said Burden, but they had been staying with their grandparents in Mayville.

"This is so senseless," he said about the slaying of his sister.

Other family members and friends echoed Burden's comments, but didn't want to be quoted.

But one said Ricky Torres had resigned as a Mt. Morris Township firefighter about a year ago. He and his wife and family had lived in the township for years before moving into the Cape Cod-style house on LeErda.

Relatives said that Becky Torres worked as a manager of a blood bank in north Flint. Burden said he or his parents likely would be the guardians for her children.

It was not clear initially whether both of the officers who fired at Ricky Torres struck him, or if only one did, but he was initially said to have been in critical condition when he went into surgery. In the meantime, state police evidence technicians were called to the scene from the crime lab at Bridgeport.

Police said the events begin about 9 a.m. when 911 dispatchers got a call from a man described as Ricky Torres' boss. He reportedly told them of a conversation he'd had with Torres in which Torres spoke of killing his wife. Flint officers who went to the house on LeErda found her shot to death in an upstairs room.

Acting Flint Police Chief Gary Hagler said that although the shooting of Torres was under investigation, he was sure the officers "did what they had to do in order to return safely to their families."

Hagler said that Torres had more than one weapon in the car when he attempted to shoot the officers.

The president of the union that represents Flint officers said the incident demonstrates how dangerous it is for police to patrol the city in one-man vehicles.

"We very easily could be planning an officer's funeral," said Keith Speer, president of the Flint Police Officers Union. "The guy's (Torres') shot was very close and if (the female officer) hadn't arrived to back up (the male officer), he could have been hit instead of the other way around."

In the past, most city patrol officers were assigned two per vehicles, but that changed in fall 2006 when Flint Mayor Don Williamson, in restructuring the police department, ordered that all patrol cruisers and SUVs be staffed with only one officer.

The union has maintained that making all patrol vehicle's "one-man" cars and SUVs places officers in greater danger.

The officer who stopped Torres was suffering some deafness in one of his ears from being in such close proximity to the suspect when he fired, Speer said, but was otherwise alright.











Police shoot man who fired first; wife dead
Posted by Kim Crawford
The Flint Journal
December 27, 2007 11:43AM
Ryan Garza The Flint Journal
http://blog.mlive.com/flintjournal/newsnow/2007/12/flint_police_shoot_man_who_fir.html

Police investigate after a man was shot by a uniformed officer on Mildred Street near Gillespie Avenue on Thursday.

FLINT -- A man was shot by police officers this morning after he reportedly fired at them as they tried to stop his vehicle on Mildred Street near Gillespie Avenue.

Witnesses said the shooting occurred about 9:45 a.m., after city police were called to 3809 LeErda Ave. on a report of a woman found dead in an upstairs room.

Officers were trying to stop the man in connection with the homicide when he fired shots at them, witnesses said.

Witnesses at the shooting scene said the suspect is a former Mt. Morris Township firefighter, age 35, and that the woman found dead on LeErda was his wife. She died from from a gunshot wound to the chest, police sources said.

The suspect was undergoing surgery this morning at Hurley Medical Center in Flint. His condition was unknown.

Acting Flint Police Chief Gary Hagler said the shooting was under investigation, although his officers "did what they had to do in order to return safely to their families."

Hagler said the suspect had multiple weapons and fired at officers who pulled him over.

Police taped off the area around the Mildred-Gillespie intersection and also were holding down a crime scene at the LeErda address where the woman was found dead.

State police crime lab technicians were called to examine both scenes, police said.

Officers went to the LeErda address after the suspect's employer called 911 to say he had received a phone call from the suspect indicating something had happened to his wife at their home, a small Cape Cod in a neighborhood just north of Pasadena Ave.
Police arrived and found the dead woman.

About 45 minutes later, police spotted the suspect driving a friend's vehicle and tried to stop him. The man fired at officers after a brief pursuit and was shot by a uniformed officer, the witnesses said.











Police Exchange Gunfire With Murder Suspect
WNEM News
POSTED: 4:11 pm EST December 27, 2007
UPDATED: 7:33 am EST December 28, 2007
http://www.wnem.com/news/14933323/detail.html

SAGINAW, Mich. -- Thursday morning Flint Police were responding to a murder at a home in the 3800 block of LeErda Avenue where they found a woman dead.

Police found 34-year-old Rebecca Torres murdered in her home, with her husband, a former volunteer fireman, as their chief suspect.

When police found Rick Torres, they attempted to pull him over near Gillespie Avenue and Mildred Street, he allegedly shot at them.

Officers shot back, hitting Torres two times.

Torres was taken to Hurley Hospital in critical condition and has had surgery for gunshot wounds.

Flint Police chief Gary Hagler said investigators found numerous weapons in the car and are currently searching for a motive.

"The investigation over the next couple of days will tells us exactly what happened," Hagler said.

"We don’t know what his plans were for the rest of the day," said Hagler. “Obviously, the officers stopping him interrupted what ever those plans were. It came to end where they had to defend themselves using deadly force."

Neighbors said the Torres’s had just gotten back together after a separation and have two teenage children who live with them, a girl and boy.

Marcus Burden is Rebecca Torres’s brother and said they went to church regularly and Rick Torres served as a volunteer firefighter for a time.

Burden said they were great parents who always pushed their children to excel in school and earn scholarships.

No officers were injured in the shootout.

Stay with TV5 as this story develops.










Husband arrested in wife's death
Suspect shoots at police, is dropped by return fire
FLINT
THE FLINT JOURNAL FIRST EDITION
Friday, December 28, 2007
By Kim Crawford

Police say Enrique "Ricky" Torres was on a cellphone when he was spotted driving after the slaying of his wife. Anyone with information about the call or the slaying is asked to call Flint police Sgt. Jay Parker at (810) 237-6906.

FLINT - Enrique "Ricky" Torres and his wife Rebecca didn't always get along, but family members thought the Flint couple's relationship had been on an even keel through the holidays.

"There were times when they were separated, like this summer," said Marcus Burden of Flint, one of Becky Torres' brothers. "But when he was drinking, then there were problems."

About 9 a.m. Thursday, Flint police found Rebecca, 35, shot to death in the home she and her family rented at 3809 LeErda Ave., just north of Pasadena Avenue.

About 45 minutes later, a veteran Flint police officer, having received a description of the white Chevrolet Lumina that Ricky Torres was believed to be driving as a suspect in Becky Torres' slaying, spotted him driving about a mile away.

According to police, Torres, an employee at Advance Auto Parts in Mt. Morris and a onetime Mt. Morris Township firefighter, initially refused to pull over. With another officer arriving as backup, Torres pulled over on Mildred Street near Gillespie Avenue.

Then he got out of his car and fired at one of the officers, according to police. The officers fired back, striking Torres, 35. Torres was hit multiple times, including in the face and shoulder, police said.

He was listed in stable condition Thursday at Hurley Medical Center after undergoing surgery. Police said this morning he was in critical condition. He is expected to face a murder charge in the death of his wife.

The couple has two children - one a teen and one a middle-schooler, said Burden - but they had been staying with their grandparents in Mayville.

"This is so senseless," said Burden about the slaying of his sister.










Flint Home Of Slaying Victim Robbed
WNEM NEWS
POSTED: 12:04 pm EST December 31, 2007
UPDATED: 1:26 pm EST December 31, 2007
http://www.wnem.com/news/14952098/detail.html

SAGINAW, Mich. -- Flint police said over the weekend someone robbed the house on LeErda Avenue where police found 35-year-old Rebecca Torres killed last week.

The main suspect in her slaying is her husband Rick Torres.

Police tracked him down last week, pulling him over in a vehicle and when they did, they said he tried to shoot at them, so they shot him.

He is in the hospital in police custody.

Rick and Rebecca Torres have two teenage children, a boy and girl, who now have to deal with stolen belongings.

No one was in the home as it was the scene of a recent killing.

Rebecca’s brother Marcus Burden said it is a low blow for two kids who’ve already lost so much.

Family members taking care of the Torres teens said they have no money for a proper funeral and are asking for the public’s help.

Any donations can be dropped off at the Citizens Bank, made out to the Torres' Children Fund.











Ex-firefighter charged in wife's shooting death
The Flint Journal
Posted by Bryn Mickle
January 11, 2008 22:08PM
http://blog.mlive.com/flintjournal/newsnow/2008/01/exfirefighter_charged_in_wifes.html

FLINT -- A former firefighter suspected of killing his wife and opening fire on two Flint police officers was charged with murder in a warrant issued Friday.

Enrique Torres Jr., 36, of Flint has been under police guard at a local hospital since Dec. 27 when he was shot by police less than a hour after his wife was found dead.

Investigators allege Torres was angry with his wife, Rebecca, 35, and shot her with a .40-caliber pistol inside their rented home at 3809 LeErda Ave., just north of Pasadena Avenue.

He allegedly used the gun in a shoot-out with police on Mildred Street near Gillespie Avenue.
Torres missed the officers, but he was shot several times.

He is expected to be released from the hospital this weekend and arraigned. He will be transferred to the Genesee County Jail.

In addition to the murder charge, Torres faces two counts of using a gun to commit a felony and a count of assault with intent to murder.

Torres worked as a Mt. Morris Township firefighter until about a year ago and recently had been working at an auto parts store.











Ex-firefighter accused of murder in death of wife
FLINT
THE FLINT JOURNAL FIRST EDITION
Saturday, January 12, 2008
By Bryn Mickle
http://www.mlive.com/news/flintjournal/index.ssf?/base/news-48/1200115283228150.xml&coll=5

FLINT - A former firefighter suspected of killing his wife and opening fire on two Flint police officers was charged with murder in a warrant issued Friday.

Enrique Torres Jr., 36, of Flint has been under police guard at a local hospital since Dec. 27 when he was shot by police less than a hour after his wife was found dead.

Investigators allege Torres was angry with his wife, Rebecca, 35, and shot her with a .40-caliber pistol inside their rented home at 3809 LeErda Ave., just north of Pasadena Avenue.

He allegedly used the gun in a shoot-out with police on Mildred Street near Gillespie Avenue.
Torres missed the officers, but he was shot several times.

He is expected to be released from the hospital this weekend and arraigned. He will be transferred to the Genesee County Jail.

In addition to the murder charge, Torres faces two counts of using a gun to commit a felony and a count of assault with intent to murder.

Torres worked as a Mt. Morris Township firefighter until about a year ago and recently had been working at an auto parts store.










Ex-firefighter charged in wife's shooting death
by Bryn Mickle The Flint Journal
Friday January 11, 2008, 9:09 PM
http://www.mlive.com/flintjournal/index.ssf/2008/01/exfirefighter_charged_in_wifes.html

FLINT -- A former firefighter suspected of killing his wife and opening fire on two Flint police officers was charged with murder in a warrant issued Friday.

Enrique Torres Jr., 36, of Flint has been under police guard at a local hospital since Dec. 27 when he was shot by police less than a hour after his wife was found dead.

Investigators allege Torres was angry with his wife, Rebecca, 35, and shot her with a .40-caliber pistol inside their rented home at 3809 LeErda Ave., just north of Pasadena Avenue.

He allegedly used the gun in a shoot-out with police on Mildred Street near Gillespie Avenue.

Torres missed the officers, but he was shot several times.

He is expected to be released from the hospital this weekend and arraigned. He will be transferred to the Genesee County Jail.

In addition to the murder charge, Torres faces two counts of using a gun to commit a felony and a count of assault with intent to murder.

Torres worked as a Mt. Morris Township firefighter until about a year ago and recently had been working at an auto parts store.







Former Mt. Morris Twp. firefighter sent to forensics in shooting of wife
Posted by Paul Janczewski
The Flint Journal
January 18, 2008 15:03PM
http://blog.mlive.com/flintjournal/newsnow/2008/01/former_mt_morris_twp_firefight.html

A former Mt. Morris Township firefighter who allegedly killed his wife got into a shoot-out with police and was shot by officers as part of a "death wish."

An attorney representing Enrique "Ricky" Torres Jr. asked that his client be sent to a state facility to determine if he is competent for trial and criminally responsible for his actions.

Torres, 36, of Flint, faces murder, assault and weapons charges in the Dec. 27 slaying of his wife, Rebecca R. Torres, after the couple argued in a rented LeErda Ave. residence, just north of Pasadena Avenue.

Flint police found Rebecca Torres, 35, shot to death in the home about 9 a.m.

About 45 minutes later and mile or so from the slaying scene, Flint police spotted a car Torres was driving, but he initially refused to pull over.

Police said Torres eventually pulled over on Mildred Street near Gillespie Avenue.

He allegedly got out of his car and fired at one of the officers, who fired back, striking Torres multiple times, including the face and shoulder.

Attorney James J. Zimmer, who represents Torres, asked for the forensic evaluation, saying "a lot of (the incident) doesn't make sense."

He told Flint District Judge William H. Crawford that he has had conversations with Torres since he was released from the hospital and his client "had a death wish" when he started the shoot-out with police.

In other court documents, Zimmer said Torres is unable to discuss facts of the case to assist in his defense, has a lack of memory, and is suffering from psychological problems.

Crawford approved the request to send Torres to the Center for Forensic Psychiatry near Ann Arbor for the evaluation and scheduled a March 25 control date on the case.

Court documents indicate Torres has received substance abuse treatment in the past year, recently lost his house to foreclosure proceedings, and was working part-time at an auto parts store.

Family members earlier said Torres and his wife had a rocky relationship, especially when he was drinking.

They had been separated as recently as last summer, family members said.

Torres, a onetime Mt. Morris Township firefighter, was hospitalized.

Rebecca Burden Torres Memorial Page

FROM REBECCA BURDEN TORRES MEMORIAL PAGE:

TORRES, Rebecca Ruth (Burden) - Of Flint, age 35, died Thursday, December 27, 2007 at her residence. Funeral services will be held 11 AM Friday at the North Flushing Baptist Church, 7500 West Mount Morris Road, Pastor Dale Lewis officiating. Burial in Crestwood Memorial Cemetery. Becky will lie in state at the Plumb-Smith Funeral Home, G-1208 N. Ballenger Hwy., Flint Township, where friends may call 10 AM - 8 PM Wednesday and Thursday. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Torres Children's Donation Fund at Citizens Bank. Mrs. Torres was born in Flint, September 3, 1972. She married Enrique Torres, Jr., at Ambassador Baptist Church, July 6, 1991. She was a member of North Flushing Baptist Church, former P.T.O. president at Beecher Schools, and former assistant coach of Tucker Elementary Pom-Pom Squad. As a devoted mother of two, she was deeply involved with community and Beecher School activities. She was employed as an administrative assistant at Talecris Plasma Resources, and had formerly worked at Beecher Schools and at Sam's Club. Surviving are: husband, Enrique Torres, Jr.; son, Enrique Torres III; daughter, Angelica Torres; parents, Ruth and Jack Keskes; siblings, Marcus and Melissa Burden, John (Scooter) and Jeanette Keskes, Michelle and Jeffrey Miller, Evelyn (Peanut) Herman and Brian Sharp, Herbert, Sr. and Heather Keskes, Amanda Burden and Dustin Boucher, Shawn Keskes and Nellie Mitchell, Carla Burden, Rosa Morales, Scott Sies and Wyndi Morrison, Tina and Dennis Rush, Delbert (D.J.) and Michele Calhoun, Dwayne and Barb Johnson, Stacey and John Tremain, John and Tina Stutzman; many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and friends; special friends, Georgianna Lopez and Daniel Lopez. She was preceded in death by her father, Carl (Jimmy) Burden; brothers, Darrel Burden and Jerry Manning; grandparents, Joseph and Bethel Burden and Modesto and Mary Lopez. Special thanks to our church, family, and friends for all their love and support.

This memorial website was created in the memory of our loved one, Becky who was born in Michigan on September 03, 1972 and passed away on December 27, 2007 at the age of 35. We will remember her forever.



[MI POLICE OFFICER INVOLVED PERPETRATED DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LAW ENFORCEMENT MURDER SUICIDE]

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Officer David Cobb - Murdered wife Rose - Detroit PD

DECEMBER 26, 2007: OFFICER DAVID COBB, [DETROIT POLICE DEPARTMENT] HIRED A HIT MAN TO MURDER HIS WIFE, ROSE COBB.


ALSO SEE:
ROSE COBB MURDER CASE

http//michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2007/12/rose-cobb-murder-case.html


VINCENT SMOTHERS :HITMAN OFFICER COBB HIRED : MURDER OF ROSE COBB

 http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2007/12/vincent-smothers-hitman-officer-cobb.html


Rose Cobb, who was brutally gunned down on December 26, 2007...by a hitman [Vincent Smothers], who had been hired by her husband [Detroit Police Officer David Cobb].






OFFICER DAVID COBB,[DETROIT PD] WHO HIRED A HITMAN [VINCENT SMOTHERS] TO GUN DOWN HIS WIFE, ROSE COBB ON DECEMBER 26, 2007.



VINCENT SMOTHERS OF SHELBY TOWNSHIP, WHO OFFICER DAVID COBB HIRED TO MURDER HIS WIFE, ROSE COBB.





....In April 2008, the horrible truth behind Officer Cobb hiring someone to kill Rose began to emerge....On September 26, 2008 David Cobb was found hanged.







On July 23, 2010, Vincent Smothers was sentenced to 50 - 100 years for the murder of Rose Cobb and others.






The price Officer David Cobb paid hitman Vincent Smothers to murder Rose Cobb? $1500.






Hitman Vincent Smothers: The last face that terrorized Rose Cobb saw as she was being killed.







ROSE COBB'S MURDER: DECEMBER 26, 2007:






Video from: Cloudwriter / Behind The Blue Wall:





Detroit CVS store where Rose Cobb was gunned down and murdered...






....as she sat in her van....






...while she waited for her husband, Officer David Cobb, while he was inside CVS shopping.






....The hired gunman shot Rose at least once in the face, during the deadly attack.






Crime scene of Rose's murder.






Crime scene of Rose's murder.







Crime scene of Rose's murder.






Crime scene of Rose's murder.






Rose's van, where she was murdered.






INVESTIGATION OF ROSE COBB'S MURDER [DECEMBER 26, 2007]




Video from: Cloudwriter / Behind The Blue Wall:






CVS store where Rose was gunned down and murdered.






Rose's van, where she was murdered.






Rose's van.






Crime scene.






Crime scene.






Officer Cobb hides behind his front door during an interview, following the murder of his wife, Rose.




Video from: Cloudwriter / Behind The Blue Wall:






Officer David Cobb didn't want to speak with the media following his wife Rose's murder.






Approximately 2 years prior to Rose'd murder, Officer Cobb had previously been charged with harrassing and soliciting sex from a minor...






....Officer Cobb had been acquitted of that crime.






Officer David Cobb, is considered to be a person of interest in Rose's murder.




Video from: Cloudwriter / Behind The Blue Wall:






Police are continuing their investigation into Rose Cobb's murder....






....Detroit Police have determined that Rose's murder did not involve an attempted robbery or attempted car-jacking....






...Detroit Police consider Officer David Cobb to be a person of interest in the murder of Rose. Officer Cobb refused to comment, when FOX 2 News went to his home....






Candlelight vigil for Rose Cobb [January 04, 2008].




Video from: Cloudwriter / Behind The Blue Wall:






Rose Cobb.






Detroit CVS store where Rose Cobb was brutally gunned down and murdered, as she sat in her van on December 26, 2007.






Rose's family and friends gathered in the frigid winter cold to hold a candlelight vigil on January 4th....Rose's husband [Detroit Police Officer David Cobb] did not attend.






Rose's niece, Tameeka Gary, pleading for leads in her aunt's murder.






Off-Duty Detroit Cop Walks Out of Pharmacy, Finds Wife Shot Dead in Parking Lot
Fox News
December 27, 2007
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,318655,00.html

DETROIT — The wife of an off-duty Detroit police sergeant has been shot to death outside a pharmacy.

Police spokesman James Tate says 47-year-old Rose Cobb had been shot at least once in the head. She was dead at the scene.

Tate says her husband was inside the east side CVS about 9 p.m. Wednesday when shots were heard.

Cobb had been shot through the vehicle's window and nothing appeared to be taken. The shooter is believed to have left on foot.

Tate says the motive for the slaying is under investigation after police earlier reported it as an apparent carjacking.

Tate says people were in the parking lot at the time of the shooting, but may have driven away in fear for their own safety.











Detroit police seek suspects in fatal shooting of sergeant's wife
Detroit News
December 27, 2007
http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071227/METRO/712270437

Detroit police are looking for suspects in the shooting death of Rose Cobb, who was killed while sitting in the passenger seat of her car as her police officer husband shopped inside a Detroit pharmacy.

Police spokesman James Tate says Cobb had been shot at least once in the head. She was dead at the scene.

Tate said Cobb's husband was inside an east side CVS Pharmacy about 9 p.m. Wednesday when shots were heard.

Cobb was shot through the vehicle's window and nothing appeared to be taken. The shooter is believed to have left on foot.

Tate said the motive for the slaying is under investigation after police earlier reported it as an apparent carjacking.

Tate said people were in the parking lot at the time of the shooting, but may have driven away in fear for their own safety.

According to a report on WJBK-TV (Channel 2), the shooting took place outside the CVS at Jefferson Avenue and Dickerson Street.

Cobb, 47, was the wife of a sergeant on the Detroit Police Department assigned to the Eastern District station.






Family Offers Reward For Info. On CVS Slaying POSTED: 10:33 am EST
December 27, 2007
ClickOnDetroit.com
http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/14930759/detail.html

DETROIT -- The family of a woman who was shot to death outside a CVS pharmacy is offering a $10,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for her death.

Police spokesman James Tate said 47-year-old Rose Cobb, the wife of an off-duty Detroit police sergeant, had been shot at least once in the head. She was dead at the scene.

Tate said her husband was inside the east side CVS on Jefferson Avenue about 9 p.m. Wednesday when shots were heard.

Cobb had been shot through the vehicle's window and nothing appeared to be taken. The shooter is believed to have left on foot.

Tate said the motive for the slaying is under investigation after police earlier reported it as an apparent carjacking.

Tate said people were in the parking lot at the time of the shooting, but may have driven away in fear for their own safety.

The family is asking anyone with information to call 1-800-SPEAK-UP.






Wife of Detroit police sergeant slain outside pharmacy
Southbend Tribune
December 27, 2007
http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:HKvDOFmeOtAJ:www.southbendtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article%3FAID%3D/20071227/News/49873299/0/FRONTPAGE+Rose+Cobb,+Detroit&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=8&gl=us

DETROIT (AP) — The wife of an off-duty Detroit police sergeant has been shot to death outside a pharmacy. Police spokesman James Tate says 47-year-old Rose Cobb had been shot at least once in the head. She was dead at the scene.

Tate says her husband was inside the east side CVS about 9 p.m. Wednesday when shots were heard.

Cobb had been shot through the vehicle's window and nothing appeared to be taken. The shooter is believed to have left on foot.

Tate says the motive for the slaying is under investigation after police earlier reported it as an apparent carjacking.Tate says people were in the parking lot at the time of the shooting, but may have driven away in fear for their own safety.





Detroit Police Officer’s Wife Slain
WNEM News
POSTED: 2:08 pm EST December 27, 2007
UPDATED: 2:17 pm EST December 27, 2007
http://www.wnem.com/news/14932432/detail.html

SAGINAW, Mich. -- The wife of a Detroit police sergeant has been shot to death outside a pharmacy.

Police spokesman James Tate said 47-year-old Rose Cobb had been shot at least once in the head.

She was dead at the scene of a CVS store.

Tate said her husband, who was off-duty, was inside the east side CVS about 9 p.m. Wednesday when shots were heard.

Cobb had been shot through the vehicle's window and nothing appeared to be taken.

The shooter is believed to have left on foot.

Tate said the motive for the slaying is under investigation after police earlier reported it as an apparent carjacking.

Tate said people were in the parking lot at the time of the shooting, but may have driven away in fear for their own safety.

Detroit police are asking people with information about the shooting to call 313-596-2260 homicide or Crime Stoppers at 800-SPEAKUP.






Wife of Detroit police sergeant slain outside pharmacy
Detroit Free Press
December 27, 2007
http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:38RLwJx17rQJ:hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/M/MI_OFFICERS_WIFE_SLAIN_MIOL-%3FSITE%3DMIDTF%26SECTION%3DHOME%26TEMPLATE%3DDEFAULT+Rose+Cobb,+Detroit&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=11&gl=us

DETROIT (AP) -- The wife of an off-duty Detroit police sergeant has been shot to death outside a pharmacy.

Police spokesman James Tate says 47-year-old Rose Cobb had been shot at least once in the head. She was dead at the scene.

Tate says her husband was inside the east side CVS about 9 p.m. Wednesday when shots were heard.

Cobb had been shot through the vehicle's window and nothing appeared to be taken. The shooter is believed to have left on foot.

Tate says the motive for the slaying is under investigation after police earlier reported it as an apparent carjacking.

Tate says people were in the parking lot at the time of the shooting, but may have driven away in fear for their own safety.










Motive in fatal shooting unclear
The Detroit Free Press
By Zachary Gorchow and Amber Hunt

December 28, 2007
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071228/NEWS01/712280319/1001/NEWS

Her husband just feet away from her inside a pharmacy on Detroit's east side, 47-year-old Rose Cobb -- the wife of a city police sergeant -- was shot dead Wednesday.

Police initially said the motive appeared to be a carjacking. But by Thursday night, officials said they didn't know what prompted the shooting, and no one was in custody.

Cobb of Detroit was shot multiple times in the head through a window of the couple's van.

The shooting occurred at 9 p.m. in the parking lot of a CVS in the 12000 block of East Jefferson, just east of Conner.

Her husband, 37-year-old Sgt. David Cobb, works with the department's Eastern District.

Police continued to investigate, both with officers from the homicide department and from internal affairs.

Yvette Walker of the Police Department said police do not know what the motive was.











Suspects sought in shooting death of cop's wife
The Detroit News
December 28, 2007
http://www.detroitnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071228/METRO01/712280337/1410/METRO0

DETROIT -- Detroit police are looking for suspects in the shooting death of Rose Cobb, who was killed in the passenger seat of her car as her police officer husband shopped in a Detroit pharmacy.

Police spokesman James Tate says Cobb had been shot at least once in the head. She was dead at the scene.

Tate said Cobb's husband was inside an east-side CVS Pharmacy at Jefferson and Dickerson about 9 p.m. Wednesday when shots were heard.

Cobb was shot through the vehicle's window, and nothing appeared to be taken. The shooter is believed to have left on foot.

"We are still seeking a motive since (it) does not appear that the victim was robbed," Tate said.

Police earlier reported the incident as a carjacking.

Tate said people were in the parking lot at the time of the shooting, but may have driven away in fear for their own safety.

Cobb, 47, was the wife of a sergeant on the Detroit Police Department assigned to the Eastern District station.










Vigil Held for Officer's Slain Wife
Detroit Fox News
Last Edited: Friday, 04 Jan 2008, 11:21 PM EST
Created: Friday, 04 Jan 2008, 11:17 PM EST
http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/myfox/pages/News/Detail?contentId=5399283&version=2&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=VSTY&pageId=3.2.1

There are still no suspects in the murder of a police officer's wife. Rose Cobb was gunned down last month in the parking lot of a CVS Pharmacy on the east side of Detroit. FOX 2's Ron Savage reports that friends and family held a vigil for her Friday.







Rose Cobb was gunned down while she sat in her van in a CVS store parking lot, while her husband, Sergeant David Cobb, was inside the CVS store. The case still remains unsolved.
On January 4, 2008 Rose's family held a candlelight vigil for Rose. Not in attendence at the vigil: one Sergeant David Cobb.





ALSO SEE:
ROSE COBB MURDER CASE

http//michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2007/12/rose-cobb-murder-case.html

Rose Cobb Murder Case - Officer David Cobb

SEE ALSO:
OFFICER DAVID COBB, DETROIT PD: MURDERED WIFE, ROSE COBB

http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2007/12/unsolved-murder-of-ross-cobb-wife-of.html


VINCENT SMOTHERS :HITMAN OFFICER COBB HIRED : MURDER OF ROSE COBB
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2007/12/vincent-smothers-hitman-officer-cobb.html



On December 26, 2007 Rose Cobb was brutally gunned down while she sat in the family van in the parking lot of a Detroit CVS store...while her husband [Officer David Cobb, Detroit PD], was inside the store. Officer David Cobb was immediately suspected in Rose's murder.






IN APRIL 2008, OFFICER DAVID COBB WAS ARRESTED IN THE MURDER OF HIS WIFE ROSE, ALONG WITH...





...MARZELL BLACK AND VINCENT SMOTHERS...





...MARZELL BLACK WAS CHARGED WITH THE MURDER OF ROSE COBB, AFTER HIS APRIL 2008 ARREST, AND....





...VINCENT SMOTHERS NOT ONLY CONFESSED TO KILLING ROSE COBB, BUT ALSO TO BEING HIRED BY OFFICER DAVID COBB TO MURDER ROSE...





...AND TWO DAYS AFTER HIS APRIL 2008 ARREST IN ROSE MURDER CASE, OFFICER DAVID COBB WALKED OUT OF JAIL, A FREE MAN [David Cobb was later found hanged].





TWO YEARS AFTER MARZELL BLACK AND VINCENT SMOTHERS WERE CHARGED WITH THE MURDER OF ROSE COBB...




...THE CASE HAD STILL NOT GONE TO TRIAL.







ROSE COBB'S FAMILY HAS SPOKEN OUT SINCE ROSE'S MURDER:

DAYS AFTER THEIR BELOVED ROSE WAS VICIOUSLY GUNNED DOWN, ROSE'S FAMILY AND FRIENDS GATHERED AND HELD A CANDLELIGHT VIGIL ON A COLD WINTER NIGHT...IN THE CVS PARKING LOT WHERE ROSE HAD BEEN MURDERED [Officer David Cobb was not present].




IN OCTOBER 2008, ROSE COBB'S FAMILY AGAIN SPOKE OUT FOR ROSE...

Taneeka Gary, 35, of Detroit, left, and her aunt, Elizabeth Haygood, 50, also of Detroit, at their grandmother's home in Detroit on Oct. 16. They talked about the suicide of David Cobb, who they feel is responsible for the death of their sister and aunt Rose Cobb.[KIMBERLY P. MITCHELL/Detroit Free Press]






Displaying a photo of the late Rose Cobb are her family members, clockwise from left, Adrian Gary, 34; Taneeka Gary, 35; Sheryl Gary, 54, and Elizabeth Haygood, 50, all of Detroit. They believe her husband's family is in denial over his role in her killing.[KIMBERLY P. MITCHELL/Detroit Free Press ]








IN APRIL 2010 [28 months after Rose's murder; and 2 years after the arrests of Officer Cobb, Marzell Black, and Vincent Smothers], ROSE'S FAMILY SPOKE OUT AGAIN...

...ROSE'S FAMILY'S REQUEST: A TRIAL FOR THE MEN WHO MURDERED THEIR BELOVED ROSE.







OFFICER DAVID COBB ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH THE MURDER OF HIS WIFE / ROSE
April 20, 2008.
Video from: Cloudwriter / Behind The Blue Wall:






Officer David Cobb was arrested at his home on the morning of April 20, 2008, for the murder of his wife, Rose.






Officer David Cobb [Detroit PD].






Officer Cobb is accused of hiring a hitman [Vincent Smothers], to kill Rose [December 26, 2007]






Scene of Rose Cobb's murder [December 26, 2007]






A neighbor of Rose's said that she was "a very nice lady...very compasionate..."









OFFICER ARRESTED

Video from: Cloudwriter / Behind The Blue Wall: http://www.behindthebluewall.blogspot.com/






Officer David Cobb was taken into police custody for the murder of Rose on April 20, 2008. Police suspect that Cobb hired hitman Vincent Smothers to kill Rose.






Police took the suspected hitman in Rose's murder, Vincent Smothers, into custody on April 19, 2008.






Police suspect Vincent Smothers not only in the murder of Rose Cobb....





....But the police also suspect Vincent Smothers in eight other murders....And, possibly the murder of Tamara Greene.






Hitman Vincent Smothers charged an average of $1500 per 'hit'.









MURDER FOR HIRE PLOT

Video from: Cloudwriter / Behind the Blue Wall: http://www.behindthebluewall.blogspot.com/






Vincent Smothers [hitman hired by Cobb to murder Rose] was arrested in Shelby Township.












MURDER FOR HIRE PLOT

Video from: Cloudwriter / Behind The Blue Wall: http://www.behindthebluewall.blogspot.com/






Officer David Cobb was arrested April 20th, in connection with the murder of his wife, Rose [December 26, 2007]






Officer Cobb is accused of hiring a hitman to kill Rose.









Rose Cobb.






Letter that Officer Cobb read at Rose's funeral.






Letter that Officer Cobb read at Rose's funeral.
































Detroit's infamous hit man, Vincent Smothers, sentenced yesterday
Robert Brignall
Detroit Crime Examiner
http://www.examiner.com/crime-in-detroit/detroit-s-infamous-hit-man-vincent-smothers-sentenced-yesterday




Vincent Smothers gets 50-100 years for eight killings. Credits: mug shot



Actually, Smothers lived in Shelby Twp, travelling to Detroit when there was work to be done, dashing down to Kentucky for awhile to let things cool down. He made a deal with the prosecutor's office sparing him a sentence of life without parole.

On Friday, in a courtroom beefed up with extra security and swept by a dog, Smothers appeared before Judge Craig Strong and was sentence to 50 to 100 years behind bars.

The extra security was prompted by the finding of a wireless phone in Smother's cell, which authorities thought might be linked to an escape attempt.

Even behind bars, controversy follows Vincent Smothers. He confessed not only to the eight murders he was sentenced for, but to the killings of four adults on Runyon St.

But because the prosecutor had already sent Davontae Sanford to prison for the same murders, she was less than interested in the Smothers confession.
















An admitted hitman has been sentenced to 50 to 100 years in prison
Posted: 07/23/2010
WXYZ News
http://www.wxyz.com/dpp/news/region/detroit/an-admitted-hitman-has-been-sentenced-to-50-to-100-years-in-prison#ixzz1q6IzHTyN

DETROIT (WXYZ) - An admitted hitman has been sentenced to 50 to 100 years in jail as part of a plea deal.

However, the sentencing of Vincent Smothers was held up for a short time after contraband was found in his cell. Officials say the prohibited items included a cell phone and some batteries.

The discovery triggered a lockdown on the 8th floor of the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice.

Smothers plea deal covers 8 murders, including that of the wife of a Detroit Police officer. Investigators say Smothers killed Rose Cobb as she sat in the family minivan. They say her husband, Detroit Police Sgt. David Cobb paid Smothers $1500 for the murder. Sgt. Cobb later committed suicide.

The plea deal also affects 16-year-old Davontae Sanford. Sanford has been incarcerated since confessing to taking part in a drug house hit. However, Smothers confessed to those murders as part of his deal.










Detroit hit man Vincent Smothers sentenced to 52 years in prison after admitting to killing 8
Published: Friday, July 23, 2010, 1:19 PM
Updated: Friday, July 23, 2010, 1:30 PM
By The Associated Press
http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2010/07/detroit_hit_man_vincent_smothe_2.html




Vincent Smothers enters Judge Craig Strong's courtroom in Detroit, Friday, July 23, 2010. Smothers, a Detroit hit man who pleaded guilty to killing eight people returned to court for sentencing.



A Detroit hit man who pleaded guilty to killing eight people has been sentenced to 52years in prison after a sharp rebuke from a judge who felt there wasn't enough remorse.

The 52-year minimum sentence was part of a deal struck in June when Vincent Smothers pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

He avoided a mandatory life sentence, but he won't be eligible for parole until he's about 80.

Wayne County Judge Craig Strong read from a pre-sentence report Friday in which Smothers said he had killed more than eight people, but couldn't recall their names.

Smothers told police he was paid $60,000 for a series of killings. His last victim was Rose Cobb, the wife of a Detroit police officer, in 2007.

People who were related to two victims spoke before Smothers got his punishment.





Video from: Cloudwriter / Behind The Blue Wall:






Smothers sentencing hearing. July 23, 2010. Before Judge Craig Strong. 36th District Court. Detroit. Smothers had pled guilty to eight murders [including the murder of Rose Cobbb] in a June 2010 plea agreement.






Monica Cherry. Her husband Clarence was killed by Smothers. She gave a victim impact statement detailing how Smothers' murder of her husband had shattered her life.






Rose's sister Cheryl stressed to Smothers that "peoples' lives are important. Your life is important. You have people in this courtroom today that care about you...."






Judge Strong was concerned that Smothers had confessed to murders that were not part of the plea deal.






The confession detailed a murder of four people on Runion's East Side. Davontae Stanford was in prison for those killings that were committed by Smothers and another person.






Davontae Stanford who is currently in prison for four murders that Smothers confessed to.






Because Davonte Stanford made a written confession, Prosecutor Kim Worthy is fighting efforts by Standford to get a new trial to reverse a wrongful conviction.






"I'm bringing this to your attention because you cannot bring back those you killed. But you can correct wrongs for those who were wrongfully convicted of people that you killed," Judge Strong stated to Smothers.






"If that's a question," Smothers responded to Judge Strong, "The police department knows about any crimes that have been committed."






Smothers was sentenced to 50 - 100 years in prison for eight murders. One of those murders included the contract killing of Rose Cobb that was ordered by her husband, Officer David Cobb.












DELAY AT HITMAN VINCENT SMOTHERS' SENTENCING
July 23, 2010
Channel 7 News, Detroit

Video from: Cloudwriter / Behind The Bluewall:






There was a delay in Smothers' sentencing hearing. Smothers' had managed to get a cell phone into his jail cell, and the eight floor of the Courthouse was on lockdown.






Smothers' family said that Vincent was a good kig when he was growing up. He changed after his 15 year-old sister was gunned down in their driveway.





Smothers' sentencing is of importance to Davontae Stanford. Davontae [who is mentally handicapped] pled guilty to taking part in a drug house hit. Smothers claims that he and another accomplice did that hit....not Standford.






One of the murders that Smothers is pleading to, is that of Rose...A hit that was order by her husband, Officer David Cobb [12/26/2007].










Detroit hit man Vincent Smothers due for sentencing after pleading guilty to killing 8
Published: Friday, July 23, 2010, 6:15 AM
MLive
http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2010/07/detroit_hit_man_vincent_smothe_1.html




In this April 21, 2008 file photo, Vincent Smothers attends his arraignment in Detroit's 36th District Court.



A Detroit hit man who pleaded guilty to killing eight people is returning to court for a sentence that likely will put him away for the rest of his life.

Vincent Smothers closed his cases by pleading guilty to second-degree murder in June. He avoided a mandatory life sentence, but his deal calls for at least 52 years in prison. That would make him eligible for parole when he's about 80.

Smothers told police he was paid $60,000 for a series of killings. His last victim was Rose Cobb, the wife of a Detroit police officer, in 2007.

Smothers will appear in court Friday. After his arrest, he also took responsibility for four murders that police pinned on a teenager. Smothers hasn't been charged, and the teen is trying to undo his guilty plea.










Hit man Smothers pleads guilty in Detroit to 8 murders
June 8, 2010
Michael Velardo
The Examiner
http://cdn2-b.examiner.com/substance-abuse-in-detroit/hit-man-smothers-pleads-guilty-detroit-to-8-murders




Vincent Smothers pled guilty to 8 counts of 2nd degree murder

Hit man Vincent Smothers pleaded guilty in a Detroit courtroom Monday, June, 7, 2010 for the contract murders of 8 people that included the wife of a Detroit police officer.

Smothers, 29, pled guilty to 8 counts of second degree murder, and using a firearm in the commission of a felony in exchange for a 50 to 100 year prison sentence, plus 2 additional years for the gun charge.

The plea was taken by Wayne County Circuit Judge Craig S. Strong, and sentencing was scheduled for June 24th, 2010.

Vincent, by his own admission, executed drug dealers, but after killing the wife of a Detroit police officer, he said, "My stomach was in knots," Smothers told investigators after his April 2008 arrest near his home in Macomb County's Shelby Township. "I felt like she was innocent. ... All the rest were dope dealers," reported ABC News.

David Cobb, Detroit police officer, and husband of Rose Cobb, 47, committed suicide in September 2008. He was never charged with his wife's killing despite Vincent Smother's allegations that David Cobb hired him to kill her. Rose Cobb was murdered outside a pharmacy while sitting in her van in 2007, the day after Christmas.

No one has been charged for hiring Smothers in any of the contract killings.

Tragic situation however you look at it. But Smothers will probably never see the streets again unless officially pronounced dead while incarcerated, and carried out in a pine box.

As for executing drug dealers, many people have differing opinions on Vincent's work as a hit man. Some would secretly applaud it as no great loss, while others believe every one is entitled to justice without forms of vigilantism, revenge, or execution hits to settle scores, get rid of rival dealers invading turf, and a host of other gruesone tactics.

But the lifestyle of drug dealing has its occupational hazards, and Smother's was the ultimate street creeper hired by rival drug dealers that make life in that racket extremely dnagerous.

Better to stay out of this game altogether, whether you are thinking about experimenting with drugs, already are, abusing them, have become addicted, selling them, and/or using, and selling your own supply.

The drug abuse/addiction world is a lifestyle with little opportunity, if any at all, usually involves the criminal justice system at some point in time, or treatment facilities at mimum, and far too often leads to results Vincent Smother's was capable of bestowing upon others, except the the drugs become the executioners in the quality of life, your family's lives, and may possibly kill you with the same finality as having a hit man place a 12 gauge shotgun against your temple, and pull the trigger.











Detroit hit man Vincent Smothers pleads guilty to 8 murders, including officer's wife
Published: Tuesday, June 08, 2010, 6:14 AM
Updated: Tuesday, June 08, 2010, 7:07 AM
MLive
http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2010/06/detroit_hit_man_vincent_smothe.html

A self-described hit man who once told police "I kill people for money" pleaded guilty Monday to eight murders, including the contract killing of a Detroit police officer's wife.

Vincent Smothers pleaded guilty to eight counts of second-degree murder and a gun charge in exchange for a minimum sentence of 52 years in prison. With credit for time served since his arrest, he could be freed when he's about 80 years old.

Smothers, 29, shocked police two years ago when he confessed to the eight Detroit slayings during around-the-clock interrogations. He told investigators his hits were all related to the drug trade except for the final one, the killing of Rose Cobb on the day after Christmas in 2007.

"He's just glad there's closure for everybody," defense attorney Gabi Silver told The Associated Press after the hearing in Wayne County Circuit Court, where jury selection was scheduled to begin Monday for the Cobb slaying.

Including Smothers? "Everybody," she replied.

Without the deal, "we'd have to try eight cases," assistant prosecutor Robert Stevens said after the hearing. "It's an equitable resolution with a substantial amount of time."

Cobb, 47, was killed while sitting in her van outside a pharmacy. Police said Smothers, wearing a ski mask, broke a window with a tire iron and shot her in the head.

He told police that Cobb's husband arranged the killing while having an affair. David Cobb was never charged, and he hanged himself in September 2008.

"My stomach was in knots," Smothers told investigators after his April 2008 arrest near his home in Macomb County's Shelby Township. "I felt like she was innocent. ... All the rest were dope dealers."

At another point, he told police: "I don't have a profession. I kill people for money."

Smothers will receive a sentence of 50 years to 100 years in prison for the murders and a two-year punishment for the gun charge when he returns to court on June 24.

Silver had tried to persuade Judge Craig Strong to suppress Smothers' detailed confessions, claiming he incriminated himself only after police agreed not to charge his wife. Police denied any coercion, and the judge refused to throw out the statements.

Smothers told police he was paid $60,000 over a two-year period. In one cold-blooded attack, he admitted killing two men from Chicago, firing through the windshield and the passenger window while they sat in a parked car. He changed weapons without hanging up the phone with the man who hired him.

No one has been prosecuted for hiring Smothers.

During the guilty pleas, the judge mostly asked yes-or-no questions. Smothers answered matter-of-factly and without emotion when pressed to elaborate on some of his killings. He usually didn't talk to the victims.

"I was walking down the street and they were walking out of the house. I walked up and shot them," Smothers told Strong, describing an incident.

Outside court, Rose Cobb's sister, Sheryl Gary, said she was satisfied with the plea deal.

"Bottom line, it's over," she said. "It's plain, simple and we don't have to be taken through a drawn-out trial."











Detroit hit man pleads guilty to 8 murders, tells police 'I kill people for money'
Published: Monday, June 07, 2010, 10:52 PM
By The Associated Press
http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2010/06/detroit_hit_man_pleads_guilty.html




Associated Press archiveVincent Smothers, 27, in April, 2008.

A 29-year-old Detroit man who once told police "I kill people for money" pleaded guilty Monday to eight murders, including the contract killing of a police officer's wife.

Vincent Smothers pleaded guilty to eight counts of second-degree murder and a gun charge in exchange for a minimum sentence of 52-years in prison. With credit for time served since his arrest, he could be freed when he's about 80 years old.
Smothers shocked detectives two years ago when he confessed to the eight slayings during around-the-clock interrogations. He told investigators his hits were all related to the drug trade except for the final one, the killing of 47-year-old Rose Cobb on the day after Christmas in 2007.

Jury selection was to begin Monday in Wayne County Circuit Court for the Cobb slaying.

"He's just glad there's closure for everybody," defense attorney Gabi Silver said. after the hearing.

Without the deal, "we'd have to try eight cases," assistant prosecutor Robert Stevens said after the hearing. "It's an equitable resolution with a substantial amount of time."

Cobb was killed while sitting in her van outside a pharmacy. Police said Smothers, wearing a ski mask, broke a window with a tire iron and shot her in the head.

He told police that Cobb's husband arranged the killing while having an affair. David Cobb was never charged and hanged himself in September 2008.

"My stomach was in knots," Smothers told detectives after his April 2008 arrest. "I felt like she was innocent. All the rest were dope dealers."

"I don't have a profession," Smothers told police. "I kill people for money."

Smothers received a 50-year minimum sentence for the murder charges and a two-year sentence for the gun charge.










Detroit Hit Man Pleads Guilty to 8 Murders
Updated: Monday, 07 Jun 2010, 5:14 PM EDT
Published : Monday, 07 Jun 2010, 5:14 PM EDT
My FOX - Tampa Bay
http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/dpps/news/detroit-hit-man-pleads-guilty-to-8-murders-dpgapx-20100607-mh_7965158





DETROIT (AP) - A 29-year-old Detroit hit man has pleaded guilty to murdering eight people.

Vincent Smothers pleaded guilty Monday in Wayne County Circuit Court to eight counts of second-degree murder in exchange for a minimum sentence of 50 years in prison.

Two years will also be added for a gun crime.

Smothers told police he made $60,000 over two years for the killings. He said all but one of the slayings were tied to the drug trade.

The only non-drug related killing was that of 47-year-old Rose Cobb. Smothers says Cobb's police officer husband, David Cobb, hired him to kill her in 2007. David Cobb was never charged and hanged himself in September 2008.

Jury selection was to have started Monday in the Rose Cobb murder trial.











Detroit man sentenced for 8 murders: 'I kill people for money'
By the Grio
4:32 PM on 06/07/2010
http://www.thegrio.com/news/detroit-man-sentenced-for-8-murders-i-kill-people-for-money.php





DETROIT (AP) -- A 29-year-old Detroit man who once told police "I kill people for money" pleaded guilty Monday to eight murders, including the contract killing of a police officer's wife.

Vincent Smothers pleaded guilty to eight counts of second-degree murder and a gun charge in exchange for a minimum sentence of 52-years in prison. With credit for time served since his arrest, he could be freed when he's about 80 years old.

Smothers shocked detectives two years ago when he confessed to the eight slayings during around-the-clock interrogations. He told investigators his hits were all related to the drug trade except for the final one, the killing of 47-year-old Rose Cobb on the day after Christmas in 2007.

Jury selection was to begin Monday in Wayne County Circuit Court for the Cobb slaying.

"He's just glad there's closure for everybody," defense attorney Gabi Silver told The Associated Press after the hearing.

Including Smothers? "Everybody," she replied.

Without the deal, "we'd have to try eight cases," assistant prosecutor Robert Stevens said after the hearing. "It's an equitable resolution with a substantial amount of time."

Cobb was killed while sitting in her van outside a pharmacy. Police said Smothers, wearing a ski mask, broke a window with a tire iron and shot her in the head.
He told police that Cobb's husband arranged the killing while having an affair. David Cobb was never charged and hanged himself in September 2008.

"My stomach was in knots," Smothers told detectives after his April 2008 arrest. "I felt like she was innocent. ... All the rest were dope dealers."

"I don't have a profession," Smothers told police. "I kill people for money."

Smothers received a 50-year minimum sentence for the murder charges and a two-year sentence for the gun charge.










Detroit Hitman Vincent Smothers Pleads Guilty to 8 Murders
June 07, 2010
FOX 2 NEWS


Video from: Cloudwriter / Behind The Blue Wall:






In a plea agreement, Vincent Smothers pled guilty to eight counts of second degree murder. Rose Cobb was one of the victims.






Rose Cobb. Murdered December 26, 2007, by hitman Vincent Smothers...who had been hired by her husband, Officer David Cobb.






Officer David Cobb was immediately considered 'a person of interest' following the murder of his wife, Rose. Cobb was arrested in April 2008 [along with Smothers], but there was not enough evidence to charge him with Rose's murder. Cobb was released, and in September 2008, he committed suicide.






Investigators believe that Officer Cobb's motive in murdering his wife was money from her life insurance policy.






Vincent Smothers was arrested in April 2008. He soon confessed to police that he was a hitman who had been hired by Officer Cobb to kill Rose.






"....Sometimes you just feel like you're all cried out..." [Cheryl Gary. Rose's sister]. Tameka Gary, Rose's neice [left]; Adrian Gary, Rose's niece [center] and Cheryl Gary [right] talk with FOX 2 News reporter.






"If I had to blame someone it would be David Cobb...Her husband. He iniated it. Mr. Smothers would never have known my Aunt, if it wasn't for her husband...We did have some closure, but what grieves my heart is that we still don't know the why..."







"$50 was all her life was worth to him. That's pathetic. That shows what type of person he was. He's a coward..."






"...A form of closure. He [Officer Cobb] was supposed to protect her. He did none of that and plus he was a cop. It was his job to protect and serve. He couldn't even do that for his own wife...Sometimes you feel like you're all cried out. You just want to go on and see something concrete done and this was it today...."





Under the plea agreement, Smothers will remain locked up until at least 2060.










First trial to open for self-described Detroit hit man charged with 8 murders
Published: Monday, June 07, 2010, 6:07 AM
Updated: Monday, June 07, 2010, 6:09 AM
By The Associated Press
http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2010/06/first_trial_to_open_for_self-d.html




In this April 21, 2008 file photo, Vincent Smothers attends his arraignment in Detroit's 36th District Court.


The first trial against a self-described Detroit hit man is set to start in Wayne County Circuit Court.

Vincent Smothers is charged with killing Rose Cobb, the wife of a Detroit police officer, while she sat in a van outside a pharmacy in December 2007. Jury selection is set for Monday.

It's one of eight homicides pinned on Smothers, who told police after his arrest in 2008 that he was a hired gun.

A judge has ruled that Smothers' confession can be used at trial. He told police that Cobb's husband arranged the killing while having an affair. David Cobb was never charged but hanged himself.

The 29-year-old Smothers faces five more trials in the deaths of seven other people, all involving drugs.










Family slams courts, Worthy as murder case drags on with delays
Posted: April 5, 2010
BY BEN SCHMITT AND SUZETTE HACKNEY
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITERS
http://www.freep.com/article/20100405/NEWS01/4050333

The family of Rose Cobb has a simple request: a trial for the man who confessed to gunning down their loved one as she sat in a car in a CVS parking lot.

Yet for nearly two years, the man accused of the shooting, Vincent Smothers, has sat in a Wayne County jail cell charged with first-degree murder. Smothers, a self-professed hit man, tried to hang himself in jail in December, further delaying a trial.

Last month, a judge ruled that Smothers was competent to stand trial after a psychiatric evaluation. But a trial date still hasn't been scheduled.

Prosecutors and Smothers' attorney say the delays are unfortunate, but necessary.

However, such resignation doesn't sit well with Cobb's family.

"Why is Smothers getting all this TLC, and it's like her life didn't mean crap?" said Cobb's sister, Sheryl Gary. "We'll never have any form of closure -- if there is such a thing -- until this is done."

Smothers, arrested in April 2008, faces eight murder charges, and police say he confessed to more killings. But his first scheduled trial is for the alleged Dec. 26, 2007, contract killing of Cobb, the 47-year-old wife of David Cobb, a Detroit police sergeant questioned in the killing but released for lack of evidence at the time. David Cobb committed suicide in a Sterling Heights park in 2008.

Dreams to nightmares
In her dreams, Elizabeth Haygood still envisions the pleasant times: Family get-togethers with an abundance of food and laughs that she shared with her sister, Rose Cobb.

All too often, though, those dreams turn to nightmares as the scene from Cobb's violent death in a CVS parking lot on Jefferson penetrates her subconscious.
Gary dreams of her sister, Rose, too.

"Sometimes I dream that she's still alive and we all say to her: 'We thought you were dead,' "Gary said. "Other times, I'm just driving along and it just hits me so hard. And I start wondering, 'Why?' "

Family members say they believe there are two men who are responsible for Cobb's Dec. 26, 2007, shooting death: Smothers, a self-proclaimed hit man who confessed to the killing; and Cobb's husband, David Cobb, a Detroit police sergeant who committed suicide after he was questioned and released for lack of evidence in connection with the killing.

David Cobb hanged himself in September 2008 as an arrest in connection with his wife's death appeared imminent.

Smothers attempted suicide by hanging in his Wayne County Jail cell on Dec. 26. He is facing eight murder charges for multiple killings and has yet to go to trial in any of them, despite his April 2008 arrest.

In May 2008, a 36th District Court judge found probable cause to send his case to trial in connection with Rose Cobb's slaying. The ruling by then Judge Mark Randon, who is now a federal magistrate judge, came after police read a statement by Smothers in which he said that he became sickened after killing Rose Cobb.

Still, there has been no trial date set.

"It's been way too long," Haygood said. "We want some justice."

The botched suicide put any chance of a trial on further delay, after a psychiatric examination of Smothers was ordered.

Wayne County Circuit Judge Craig Strong ruled last month that Smothers was competent to stand trial after getting results of a psychiatric examination.

Now, Rose Cobb's loved ones are at their wits' end.

"No one questioned his competency when he said he committed all those murders," said Gary, Rose Cobb's 56-year-old sister. "Did they say, 'Let's see if this man is crazy' way back then?"

Strong declined to comment for this story.

Attorney: 'I feel for them'
Smothers' attorney Gabi Silver acknowledged the family's pain. She has claimed Smothers' confessions were coerced by police.

"I feel for them, I really do," Silver said of Cobb's family. "But when there are competency issues, those have to come first."

Smothers' condition remains a mystery as well. Wayne County Sheriff's Office officials said they are restricted from commenting on his medical condition because of privacy laws.

Police arrested Smothers on April 19, 2008, at his Shelby Township apartment.

Smothers told police he agreed to take on the killing of 47-year-old Rose Cobb after her husband offered to pay him $10,000 from her life insurance, which he never did. David Cobb also was taken into custody, but later released after Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy determined there wasn't enough evidence to hold him.

Police said they believe the deal was arranged, at least in part, by the 22-year-old son of Cobb's mistress, Marzell Black, who also awaits trial.

When Smothers allegedly confessed, he told police he felt no guilt about killing people targeted in drug deals. But, he reportedly said, he had trouble sleeping since shooting Rose Cobb several times in the head.

Haygood said she is incredulous that the criminal justice system is so flawed in its timeliness, especially in hearing what she calls open-and-shut cases because of Smothers' detailed confessions.

"This man is charged with killing multiple people," she said. "Why isn't Kym Worthy putting her foot down? She's out for blood with Kwame (Kilpatrick). Why hasn't she taken this to trial?"

Worthy's spokeswoman Maria Miller said her office stays in contact with the family and keeps them updated.

"We are aware that the many delays in the Smothers cases have been deeply distressing to the family of Rose Cobb," Miller said. "In fact, Prosecutor Worthy has spoken to family members of Rose Cobb on several occasions.

Delays, complications
"These cases have taken a considerable amount of time to be adjudicated because there have been numerous delays that have prevented the case from going to trial."

Miller said plea negotiations in the murder cases broke down and account for some of the delays.

"The case has been further complicated by the fact that Smothers attempted suicide," she said.

Gary and her 37-year-old daughter, Taneeka Gary, scoffed at Miller's contention that Worthy spoke to them on several occasions. They both said Worthy called once after David Cobb was released from jail to explain what she believed to be lack of evidence against him.

But Taneeka Gary isn't satisfied. "We want him tried and convicted," she said. "It's been going on three years now since Rose was killed and nothing has been done. The more time that goes by makes it look like it has been swept under the rug."














Why is Vincent Smothers being treated differently from other confessed killers?
April 5, 7:40 PM
Detroit Crime Examiner
Robert Brignall
http://www.examiner.com/x-19336-Detroit-Crime-Examiner~y2010m4d5-Why-is-Vincent-Smothers-being-treated-differently-from-other-confessed-killers





This commentary was prompted by an article in today's Detroit Free Press, available at www.freep.com, entitled 'Family slams courts, Worthy as murder case drags on with delays.' The article dealt with the frustration of victim Rose Cobb's relatives with the criminal justice system. It is not difficult to sympathize with them.

Smothers confessed in 2008 that he shot Cobb in a CVS parking lot after being promised $10,000 by her husband, then a DPD police sergeant. His trial for Cobb's murder is to be the first of several trials involving a total of eight murders. Yet after all this time, a date for the trial hasn't been set.

A judge has already declined to throw out Smothers' confession, so why the delay in a case that would seem to be a slam dunk? The Free Press article offers an explanation for some of the delay, including the need for a psychiatric exam following a botched suicide attempt. Yet Smothers has been pronounced fit for trial, so why has no date been set?

Yet what really piqued my interest about the Freep article was the assertion by the prosecutor that part of the delay was due to plea bargaining sessions with Smothers.

This did not really come as a surprise; I have long suspected that Smothers knows more than he told investigator Ira Todd back in '08. Some of this information is very sensitive. According to Ira Todd's civil case against the city and certain key officials, he was demoted by the brass while pursuing leads generated during his interrogation of Smothers.

Now we have a new mayor and police chief, and a prosecutor who would like to get inside Smothers' head no matter where the information leads them. Among other things the prosecutor would like to know are who hired him to kill the drug dealers, what relationship, if any did he have with Kwame Kilpatrick, and does he know who shot Tamara Green.

But the plea negotiations predictably went nowhere because the prosecution has nothing meaningful to offer Smothers. They could offer a sentence deal giving Smothers the chance of parole, but Charlie Manson will get parole before Smothers ever would. And all the other cases will involve charges of first degree murder, so a plea in the Cobb case wouldn't do Smothers much good.

Consider this also: if Smothers were given a deal covering all his murder cases, the citizens of this city would not be happy about it. Also, Smothers may keep his mouth shut out of concern he could face reprisals in prison.

In short, Smothers may have some valuable information locked in his head, but there would seem no workable way to get at it. So let's stop coddling the man and set a trial date.











Accused Hit Man To Stand Trial
MAN ALLEGEDLY CONFESSES TO MULTIPLE MURDERS
POSTED: Friday, March 26, 2010
http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/22967501/detail.html





DETROIT -- A man charged with killing eight people in Detroit as a hired hit man has been found competent to face his many trials.

The cases against Vincent Smothers, 27, of Shelby Township were put on hold after he attempted suicide in December in the Wayne County jail.

Experts have found him to be mentally competent, and Judge Craig Strong accepted that conclusion Friday.

Smothers faces six trials in the fatal shootings of eight people. He told police that he was a killer-for-hire, usually in drug-related revenge slayings.

Smothers also admitted to killing a Detroit police officer's wife in a murder-for-hire plot.

A second person was also charged in arranging Rose Cobb's killing. Marzell Shawn Black, 20, of Detroit has been charged with first-degree murder and solicitation of murder, according to the prosecutor's office.

The judge still is considering the admissibility of Smothers' many confessions to police.

His lawyer doesn't dispute what was said in 2008 but claims he was coerced by officers. Smothers' first trial could start this summer.










Alleged hit man found competent to stand trial Last Updated: March 26. 2010 3:56PM
Doug Guthrie / The Detroit News
http://www.detnews.com/article/20100326/METRO01/3260436/Alleged-hit-man-found-competent-to-stand-trial

Detroit -- A man who has confessed to police he worked as a paid killer was found mentally competent in a Wayne County Circuit Court hearing today.

Vincent Smothers is charged with fatally shooting eight people in six incidents. He was ordered by Wayne County Circuit Judge Craig Strong to undergo a competency examination after his failed Dec. 26 suicide attempt by hanging inside his Wayne County Jail cell.

Strong today accepted a state forensic psychology report that determined Smothers is of sound mind.

No date has been set for any of Smothers' trials because the judge has yet to rule on complaints by Smothers' lawyer, Gabi Silver, that the confessions given to police in April 2008 were obtained illegally. Smothers was questioned by police in a tag team session that lasted for hours.

Smothers has told police he was paid $60,000 for working as a hit man in 2006 and 2007. Most of his alleged victims had illegal drug-industry connections, but his last victim, he claims, was Rose Cobb, the wife of Detroit Police Sgt. David Cobb.

Smothers said Cobb paid him for the slaying on Dec. 26, 2007, so Cobb would get her life insurance. Cobb later committed suicide.










Mich. man charged in 8 deaths is cleared for trial
Story Created: Mar 26, 2010 at 3:31 PM EDT
Story Updated: Mar 26, 2010 at 3:31 PM EDT
http://www.wsbt.com/news/regional/89285232.html

DETROIT (AP) — A man charged with killing eight people in Detroit as a hired hit man has been found competent to face his many trials.

The cases against Vincent Smothers were put on hold after he attempted suicide in December in the Wayne County jail. Experts have found him to be mentally competent, and Judge Craig Strong accepted that conclusion Friday.

Smothers faces six trials in the fatal shootings of eight people. He told police that he was a killer-for-hire, usually in drug-related revenge slayings.

The judge still is considering the admissibility of Smothers' many confessions to police. His lawyer doesn't dispute what was said in 2008 but claims he was coerced by officers. Smothers' first trial could start this summer.










Alleged hit man found competent to stand trial in killings
Posted: 3:20 p.m. March 26, 2010
Updated: 3:59 p.m. today
BY BEN SCHMITT
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
http://www.freep.com/article/20100326/NEWS02/100326052/1001/NEWS/Alleged-hit-man-found-competent-to-stand-trial-in-killings




Vincent Smothers (2008 photo by Andre J. Jackson/DFP)

Alleged hit man Vincent Smothers has been found competent to stand trial on eight murder charges.

Smothers’ competency had been called into question after he tried to hang himself in December in the Wayne County Jail.

Smothers, arrested in April 2008, is accused in the alleged Dec. 26, 2007, contract killing of Rose Cobb, the 47-year-old wife of David Cobb, a Detroit police sergeant who eventually committed suicide in a Sterling Heights park.

He is facing eight murder charges in multiple killings and has yet to go to trial in any of them. Experts from a forensic center found him competent and Wayne County Circuit Judge Craig Strong accepted that assessment today.

Strong set an April 23 pretrial date for Smothers.

Smothers’ attorney Gabi Silver said her client is doing much better physically and mentally since the suicide attempt. She said she believes the Rose Cobb case will be tried first.

In May 2008, a 36th District Court found probable cause to send Smothers’ case to trial in connection with Rose Cobb’s slaying. The ruling by then 36th District Judge Mark Randon, who is now a federal magistrate judge, came after police read a statement by Smothers in which he said that he became sickened after killing Rose Cobb.

But there has still been no trial.

“It makes us happy to get some kind of forward progress in this,” said Rose Cobb’s 37-year-old niece Taneeka Gary. “But as far as I know, we still do not have a trial date.”










Suspected hit man back in jail after suicide attempt THE DETROIT NEWS
Last Updated: January 01. 2010 9:37PM
http://detnews.com/article/20100101/METRO01/1010413/Suspected-hit-man-back-in-jail-after-suicide-attempt





Detroit -- A self-described hit man facing charges in the slaying of the wife of a police officer returned Friday to the Wayne County Jail after he had attempted suicide.

Vincent Smothers, 28, was treated at a local hospital after he was found hanging in a common area near his cell Dec. 26, according to the Wayne County Sheriff's Office.

Smothers is charged with shooting Rose Cobb, wife of Detroit Police Officer David Cobb, as she sat in a van on the day after Christmas in 2007. Smothers said it was arranged by Cobb, who was never charged. Earlier this year, a judge in Detroit refused to throw out Smothers' confession, saying there was nothing illegal about the tactics used by police to get the confession in April 2008.
Cobb hanged himself last year.

Smothers also has been charged with fatally shooting eight people in six separate murder cases. He told police he was paid $60,000 for working as a hit man in 2006 and 2007.





Detroit Michigan [Associated Press]










Shooting suspect returned to jail after hanging attempt
Smothers awaits trial in several cases

Posted: 6:34 p.m. Jan. 1, 2010
By NAOMI R. PATTON
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
http://www.freep.com/article/20100101/NEWS01/100101022/1318/Shooting-suspect-returned-to-jail-after-hanging-attempt

Self-professed hit man Vincent Smothers, who police said claimed he killed a Detroit police officer's wife, was returned to the Wayne County Jail following treatment at a local hospital for injuries he received from his attempted suicide in the county jail the day after Christmas.

Smothers, 28, was found hanging in an area of the jail early last Saturday morning by jail personnel, during increased security rounds ordered by Sheriff Benny Napoleon.

Smothers, who was under constant surveillance by county sheriff’s deputies while hospitalized, is being held in the Wayne County Jail on 28 charges --13 of which are first-degree murder. One case involved the murder of a Detroit Police Sergeant’s wife.

He was arrested in 2008, and last appeared in court in October, 2009. He is awaiting trial on several cases, including the fatal shooting of Rose Cobb, who was married to a former Detroit Police Sgt. David Cobb, who allegedly contracted her hit and was found hanged in a Sterling Heights park in 2008.










Alleged hit-man attempts suicide in county jail
December 26, 2009
10:12 PM
Detroit News staff and wire reports
http://www.detnews.com/article/20091226/METRO/912260381/1409/METRO/Alleged-hit-man-attempts-suicide-in-county-jail





Detroit --A self-described hit man facing charges in the slaying of the wife of a police officer attempted suicide Friday in a Wayne County jail.

Vincent Smothers, 28, was found hanging in a cell about 8:30 a.m., Sheriff's Office officials said. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment, but his condition wasn't known Saturday night.

Increased security observation may have aided in preventing his death. Jail personnel were instructed to increase their security rounds this weekend "based on research showing a spike in suicide attempts during the holiday season," the Sheriff's Office said.

Smothers has been charged with fatally shooting eight people in six separate murder cases. He told police he was paid $60,000 for working as a hit man in 2006 and 2007.

Smothers is charged with shooting Rose Cobb, wife of Detroit Police Officer David Cobb, as she sat in a van on the day after Christmas 2007. Smothers said it was arranged by Cobb, who was never charged. Earlier this year, a judge in Detroit refused to throw out Smothers' confession, saying there was nothing illegal about the tactics used by police to get the confession in April 2008.

Cobb hanged himself last year.







Vincent Smothers [Associated Press]
FILE -In this April 21, 2008 file photo, Vincent Smothers attends his arraignment in Detroit's 36th District Court. Smothers suspected in the December 2007 slaying of a Detroit police sergeant's wife has told investigators he is responsible for at least seven contract killings in less than two years. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)










Self-professed hit man tries to kill himself
December 26, 2009
5:53 PM
FREE PRESS STAFF
http://www.freep.com/article/20091226/NEWS02/91226028/1320/Self-professed-hit-man-tries-to-kill-himself

A self-professed hit man who police said claimed he killed a Detroit police officer’s wife tried to commit suicide this morning, according to the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office.

Vincent Smothers, 28, was found hanging just before 8:30 a.m. at the Wayne County Jail, according to a news release. Smothers was taken to a local hospital for treatment. His condition was not available.

Smothers was arrested in April 2008 and is awaiting trial on a slew of cases including the killing of Rose Cobb, who was married to a Detroit police sergeant who may have contracted her hit.

Smothers’ last court appearance was in October.

He was being held in the Wayne County Jail on 28 charges, 13 of which are first-degree murder charges.










'Cunning' Detroit drug trafficker gets life in prison Last Updated: December 14. 2009 6:57PM
Paul Egan
The Detroit News
http://www.detnews.com/article/20091214/METRO/912140401/1361/-Cunning--Detroit-drug-trafficker-gets-life-in-prison

Detroit -- A Detroit man who allegedly used murder to facilitate his sale of millions of dollars worth of cocaine and marijuana was sentenced to life in prison in federal court Monday.

"I haven't been able to figure out any other way of dealing with you," U.S. District Judge Marianne O. Battani told Adarus Mazio Black, 38.

Although "somehow, deep down, you're a good person ... the court has to protect the public from further crimes," Battani said.

Family members wept as federal marshals took away Black, who described the proceedings as "a miscarriage of justice," and vowed to appeal.

Black was convicted by juries of drug trafficking and escaping custody, not murder.

But his criminal history, including allegations that have not gone to trial, reads like the script of a TV movie.

Federal prosecutors in Michigan and state prosecutors in Wisconsin have accused him of ordering a string of killings -- including two that self-confessed Detroit hit man Vincent Smothers is accused of carrying out.

Black, who used concert tour buses to move duffel bags of cash and drugs around the country, allegedly fled to Mexico prior to his 2007 arrest in California. While he was there, he paid a plastic surgeon to remove his fingerprints and change his facial appearance, prosecutors allege.

He later offered sheriff's deputies $11 million to set him free, and when they refused, "leapt from a moving prisoner transport van onto freeway traffic ... while handcuffed, belly-chained and shackled," prosecutors said in a sentencing memorandum.

"Mr. Black is without question one of the most cunning, one of the most sophisticated, one of the most dangerous individuals I've ever prosecuted," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Buckley.

His attorney, Keith Golden, argued in court filings that Black should be sentenced based on his convictions, not on the slew of other colorful allegations.

"Life in prison for this particular case is too much," Golden told the judge.

Among the killings prosecutors say Black ordered is the March 17, 2005, shooting death of Waed Murad, the Woodward Avenue car dealer who sold Black his luxury vehicles. Many of his family members also attended the hearing.

The killings tied to Black that Smothers is accused of carrying out involved two of the bus drivers who moved the drugs and cash. Chicago residents Johnny Marshall and Marshall White Jr. were shot to death in Detroit, just off the I-94 service drive, on May 24, 2007.










In case of man accused of killing Detroit police officer's wife, original confession will be used
Published: Saturday, October 17, 2009, 11:20 AM
Updated: Saturday, October 17, 2009, 12:23 PM
By The Associated Press
http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2009/10/in_case_of_man_accused_of_kill.html

A judge on Friday refused to throw out a confession by an alleged hit man who is charged with killing the wife of a Detroit police officer, a crucial ruling that clears the way for his first trial in eight fatal shootings.

Wayne County Circuit Judge Craig Strong said nothing was illegal about the tactics used to get a detailed statement from Vincent Smothers. Since summer, Strong watched portions of the videotaped interview and heard testimony from the defendant and police.

"The officer certainly was encouraging him. He gained his confidence. But there's nothing wrong with that," the judge said.

Smothers, 28, is charged with shooting Rose Cobb on Dec. 26, 2007. He told police that she was sitting in her van when he broke a window with a tire iron and shot her in the head.

Smothers told police that Cobb's husband, David Cobb, arranged the killing. The sergeant, who was never charged, hanged himself in September 2008.

Defense lawyer Gabi Silver was not attacking the substance of Smothers' confession but the process that led to it after his arrest in April 2008. She said it was the result of police promising that his wife would not be charged as an accessory.

"'You help me out, I'll help you out,'" Silver quoted investigator Ira Todd as telling Smothers.

"He doesn't say 'promise' but it's clearly a promise. ... Police officers can lie. Police officers can trick defendants. But they cannot make promises to induce a statement," Silver told the judge. "You can't cross that line."

Strong, however, said Smothers "is an intelligent man" who understood his right against self-incrimination and freely waived it.

Silver and Assistant Prosecutor Robert Stevens declined to comment outside court. Trial is set for Nov. 2 but it could be delayed because of legal issues involving a co-defendant.

Smothers was arrested 18 months ago outside his home in Shelby Township, a Detroit suburb. While in custody for hours, he gave an extraordinary series of confessions in eight fatal shootings. All victims except Cobb were involved in drugs.

"I don't have a profession," he told police. "I kill people for money."

Smothers told police he was paid $60,000 over two years. He said he stopped being a hit man after Cobb's killing.

"My stomach was in knots," he told police. "I felt like she was innocent. ... All the rest were dope dealers."










Confession stands in murder of Detroit cop's wife October 17, 2009 05:30:00
http://sify.com/news/confession-stands-in-murder-of-detroit-cop-s-wife-news-international-jkrekuacdfh.html

A judge on Friday refused to throw out a confession by a self-described hit man who is charged with killing the wife of a Detroit police officer, a crucial ruling that clears the way for his first trial in eight fatal shootings.

Wayne County Circuit Judge Craig Strong said nothing was illegal about the tactics used to get a detailed statement from Vincent Smothers. Since summer, Strong watched portions of the videotaped interview and heard testimony from the defendant and police.

"The officer certainly was encouraging him. He gained his confidence. But there's nothing wrong with that," the judge said.

Smothers, 28, is charged with shooting Rose Cobb on Dec. 26, 2007. He told police that she was sitting in her van when he broke a window with a tire iron and shot her in the head.

Smothers told police that Cobb's husband, David Cobb, arranged the killing. The sergeant, who was never charged, hanged himself in September 2008.

Defense lawyer Gabi Silver was not attacking the substance of Smothers' confession but the process that led to it after his arrest in April 2008. She said it was the result of police promising that his wife would not be charged as an accessory.

"'You help me out, I'll help you out,'" Silver quoted investigator Ira Todd as telling Smothers.

"He doesn't say 'promise' but it's clearly a promise. ... Police officers can lie. Police officers can trick defendants. But they cannot make promises to induce a statement," Silver told the judge. "You can't cross that line."

Strong, however, said Smothers "is an intelligent man" who understood his right against self-incrimination and freely waived it.

Silver and Assistant Prosecutor Robert Stevens declined to comment outside court.

Trial is set for Nov. 2 but it could be delayed because of legal issues involving a co-defendant.

Smothers was arrested 18 months ago outside his home in Shelby Township, a Detroit suburb. While in custody for hours, he gave an extraordinary series of confessions in eight fatal shootings. All victims except Cobb were involved in drugs.

"I don't have a profession," he told police. "I kill people for money."

Smothers told police he was paid $60,000 over two years. He said he stopped being a hit man after Cobb's killing.

"My stomach was in knots," he told police. "I felt like she was innocent. ... All the rest were dope dealers."









Judge lets confession stand in Detroit cop’s wife’s murder; alleged hit man linked to 8 deaths
By Ed White, Ap
October 16th, 2009
Confession stands in murder of Detroit cop’s wife
http://blog.taragana.com/law/2009/10/16/judge-lets-confession-stand-in-detroit-cops-wifes-murder-alleged-hit-man-linked-to-8-deaths-14568/

DETROIT — A judge on Friday refused to throw out a confession by a self-described hit man who is charged with killing the wife of a Detroit police officer, a crucial ruling that clears the way for his first trial in eight fatal shootings.

Wayne County Circuit Judge Craig Strong said nothing was illegal about the tactics used to get a detailed statement from Vincent Smothers. Since summer, Strong watched portions of the videotaped interview and heard testimony from the defendant and police.

“The officer certainly was encouraging him. He gained his confidence. But there’s nothing wrong with that,” the judge said.

Smothers, 28, is charged with shooting Rose Cobb on Dec. 26, 2007. He told police that she was sitting in her van when he broke a window with a tire iron and shot her in the head.

Smothers told police that Cobb’s husband, David Cobb, arranged the killing. The sergeant, who was never charged, hanged himself in September 2008.

Defense lawyer Gabi Silver was not attacking the substance of Smothers’ confession but the process that led to it after his arrest in April 2008. She said it was the result of police promising that his wife would not be charged as an accessory.

“‘You help me out, I’ll help you out,’” Silver quoted investigator Ira Todd as telling Smothers.

“He doesn’t say ‘promise’ but it’s clearly a promise. … Police officers can lie. Police officers can trick defendants. But they cannot make promises to induce a statement,” Silver told the judge. “You can’t cross that line.”

Strong, however, said Smothers “is an intelligent man” who understood his right against self-incrimination and freely waived it.

Silver and Assistant Prosecutor Robert Stevens declined to comment outside court. Trial is set for Nov. 2 but it could be delayed because of legal issues involving a co-defendant.

Smothers was arrested 18 months ago outside his home in Shelby Township, a Detroit suburb. While in custody for hours, he gave an extraordinary series of confessions in eight fatal shootings. All victims except Cobb were involved in drugs.

“I don’t have a profession,” he told police. “I kill people for money.”
Smothers told police he was paid $60,000 over two years. He said he stopped being a hit man after Cobb’s killing.

“My stomach was in knots,” he told police. “I felt like she was innocent. … All the rest were dope dealers.”











Lawyer for self-described Detroit hitman Vincent Smothers wants confession thrown out
By Jonathan Oosting
MLive.com
July 27, 2009, 9:37AM
http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2009/07/lawyer_for_selfdescribed_detro.html




In this April 21, 2008 file photo, Vincent Smothers attends his arraignment in Detroit's 36th District Court.AP Photo.


DETROIT -- A judge is to hear more testimony about police interviews that produced confessions by a man who said he was hired to kill eight people in Detroit.

The lawyer for Vincent Smothers is trying to have the confessions thrown out. Gabi (GAH-bee) Silver says police wore down his client after his arrest and threatened to charge his wife unless he cooperated. Police deny it.

Wayne County Circuit Judge Craig Strong is to resume the hearing Monday.

In statements to police, Smothers says he was paid $60,000 as a killer-for-hire in 2006 and 2007. He told investigators that all but one of the victims were involved in drugs.

The 28-year-old Smothers is facing six trials in the eight deaths.










Police: Confessions not coerced in Detroit death By Aaron Foley
MLive.com
July 17, 2009, 6:29PM
http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2009/07/police_confessions_not_coerced.html

Three police officers said Friday that they used no trickery or coercion in getting confessions from a man who is charged with being a killer for hire in eight Detroit murders.

"He was more than cooperative. He was anxious to tell his story," Detroit Officer Gerald Williams told a judge.

Vincent Smothers faces six trials in eight fatal shootings. Police say his confessions in April 2008 were detailed, remorseful and voluntary, but his lawyer contends he was worn down after hours in custody and worried that his wife might be charged.

Defense attorney Gabi Silver wants the statements thrown out. Wayne County Circuit Judge Craig Strong heard a few hours of testimony Friday on top of a similar hearing last month. He won't make a decision, however, until he hears more and possibly watches the videotaped interviews.

Smothers, 28, of Shelby Township, a Detroit suburb, told police in a series of interviews that he was paid $60,000 for a string of murders in 2006 and 2007. He told investigators that all but one of the victims were involved in drugs.

Williams said he talked to Smothers about the January 2007 death of Carl Thornton.

He described the suspect as "articulate" and open about the shooting.

"You get that very often?" assistant prosecutor Robert Stevens asked.

"No," Williams replied.

Silver tried to chip away at the credibility of another officer, LaTonya Brooks. She denied promising Smothers that his wife, Cecily, wouldn't be charged as an accomplice if he cooperated.

But Silver showed Brooks a transcript of her testimony at another court hearing in which the officer had acknowledged a possible benefit. The officer, however, didn't waver Friday.

"I'm not in a position to make any promises," Brooks testified.

Detective Sgt. Ken Ducker of the Michigan State Police interviewed Smothers in the deaths of two Chicago men near Interstate 94 in Detroit in May 2007. He, too, said nothing improper was done to get a confession.

Smothers' main police interrogator, Ira Todd, is likely to testify at the next hearing, July 27.










Judge resumes hearing on Vincent Smothers' confessions in 8 killer-for-hire deaths
By Aaron Foley
MLive.com
July 17, 2009, 11:50AM
http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2009/07/judge_resumes_hearing_on_vince.html

A judge has resumed hearing testimony in a dispute over confessions made by a man who is described as a killer-for-hire in eight Detroit murders.

Vincent Smothers' lawyer, Gabi (gah-BEE) Silver, claims police coerced him into confessing after hours of interrogation in April 2008. She wants the statements thrown out.

Officer LaTonya Brooks was the first witness Friday in Wayne County Circuit Court. Judge Craig Strong began hearing testimony last month.

Smothers, a Macomb County man, is facing six trials in eight fatal shootings. Police say his confessions were detailed and voluntary.

Smothers told police that all but one of the eight victims were involved in drug dealing. In his statements to investigators, he says he was paid $60,000 over two years.










Detroit man confession: 'I kill people for money'
By ED WHITE
Tri City Herald
June 19, 2009
http://www.tri-cityherald.com/tih/story/619137.html

DETROIT - Hours after police plucked him out of a suburban alley, Vincent Smothers dropped a bombshell confession: "I don't have a profession," he told an investigator. "I kill people for money."

Then, police say, he laid out details of how each of eight hired hits happened. He stalked his victims before shooting them at close range. He killed some while talking on his cell phone and fired on others even when they appeared to lay lifeless on the ground.

Even in Detroit, which had more than 300 slayings last year, Smothers' case is notable: Rarely is one person charged in so many deaths. On Friday, his lawyers planned to ask a judge to have the confessions thrown out, arguing he was worn down while in custody. Police deny it.

"He'd been accused of doing so many, he just wanted to get it over (with)," said Detective Sgt. Ken Ducker of the Michigan State Police.

Police say the work paid $60,000 over two years, although Smothers did one job for as little as $50. All but one of his victims were involved in drugs. The exception was a police officer's wife.

At 6-foot-1 and less than 150 pounds, Smothers said he didn't raise suspicion, according to a police account of the confession. He was able to walk up to two Chicago men in town for a drug deal in May 2007 and ask if one if they needed help with their car, which was parked with the trunk open near an interstate.

"He said, 'Naw, young fellow.' ... Once he turned where he couldn't see me, I pulled the pistol out and shot him in the head," Smothers told police.

He said he fired through the windshield and the passenger window while the other man tried to honk the horn to attract attention. Smothers changed weapons without hanging up the phone with the man who hired him. The pay: $15,000.

His last alleged slaying-for-hire was Rose Cobb, the 47-year-old wife of a Detroit officer, on the day after Christmas 2007, according to the confession. She was sitting in her van outside a pharmacy when Smothers, wearing a ski mask, broke a window with a tire iron and shot her in the head.

"My stomach was in knots," he told police. "I felt like she was innocent. ... All the rest were dope dealers."

Smothers said Cobb's husband, David Cobb, arranged the killing while having an affair. The sergeant was never charged but hanged himself in September.

The confessions were evidence at a series of hearings over the past year where judges found probable cause to put Smothers on trial. Police also have tapes of the interviews.

Defense lawyer Gabi Silver doesn't dispute the words but claims Smothers, 28, was coerced with promises that his wife would not be charged with helping him.

"The interrogation was extremely long and unfair. ... The confessions were the product of duress," Silver said in a recent filing in Wayne County Circuit Court, where Smothers faces six trials.

He spent nearly four hours in April 2008 confessing to Cobb's death, then went on to talk about the other killings, chief investigator Ira Todd said. Smothers seemed remorseful, he said.

"I knew at the time these crimes were committed they were wrong and that there would be a price to pay," he wrote. "After Cobb's wife, I could no longer have anything to do with murdering people.

"I can't bring them back," Smothers wrote, "but I hope this allow their families to know that someone is going to pay behind what happened to their loved ones."










Confession or coerced? ‘I kill people for money’
Mich. cops say man admitted earning $60,000 in two years as hitman

MSN News
June 19, 2009
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31442002/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/

DETROIT - Hours after police plucked him out of a suburban alley, Vincent Smothers dropped a bombshell confession: "I don't have a profession," he told an investigator. "I kill people for money."

Then, police say, he laid out details of how each of eight hired hits happened. He stalked his victims before shooting them at close range. He killed some while talking on his cell phone and fired on others even when they appeared to be lying lifeless on the ground.

Even in Detroit, which had more than 300 slayings last year, Smothers' case is notable: Rarely is one person charged in so many deaths. On Friday, his lawyers planned to ask a judge to have the confessions thrown out, arguing he was worn down while in custody. Police deny it.

"He'd been accused of doing so many, he just wanted to get it over (with)," said Detective Sgt. Ken Ducker of the Michigan State Police.

Police say the work paid $60,000 over two years, although Smothers did one job for as little as $50. All but one of his victims were involved in drugs. The exception was a police officer's wife.

At 6-foot-1 and less than 150 pounds, Smothers said he didn't raise suspicion, according to a police account of the confession. He was able to walk up to two Chicago men in town for a drug deal in May 2007 and ask if one if they needed help with their car, which was parked with the trunk open near an interstate.

"He said, 'Naw, young fellow.' ... Once he turned where he couldn't see me, I pulled the pistol out and shot him in the head," Smothers told police.

He said he fired through the windshield and the passenger window while the other man tried to honk the horn to attract attention. Smothers changed weapons without hanging up the phone with the man who hired him. The pay: $15,000.

His last alleged slaying-for-hire was Rose Cobb, the 47-year-old wife of a Detroit officer, on the day after Christmas 2007, according to the confession. She was sitting in her van outside a pharmacy when Smothers, wearing a ski mask, broke a window with a tire iron and shot her in the head.

"My stomach was in knots," he told police. "I felt like she was innocent. ... All the rest were dope dealers."

Smothers said Cobb's husband, David Cobb, arranged the killing while having an affair. The sergeant was never charged but hanged himself in September.

The confessions were evidence at a series of hearings over the past year where judges found probable cause to put Smothers on trial. Police also have tapes of the interviews.

'Duress'
Defense lawyer Gabi Silver doesn't dispute the words but claims Smothers, 28, was coerced with promises that his wife would not be charged with helping him.

"The interrogation was extremely long and unfair. ... The confessions were the product of duress," Silver said in a recent filing in Wayne County Circuit Court, where Smothers faces six trials.

He spent nearly four hours in April 2008 confessing to Cobb's death, then went on to talk about the other killings, chief investigator Ira Todd said. Smothers seemed remorseful, he said.

"I knew at the time these crimes were committed they were wrong and that there would be a price to pay," he wrote. "After Cobb's wife, I could no longer have anything to do with murdering people.

"I can't bring them back," Smothers wrote, "but I hope this allow their families to know that someone is going to pay behind what happened to their loved ones."










DETROIT HITMAN
June 19, 2009
ABC News, Detroit
http://abclocal.go.com/wjrt/story?section=news/state&id=6873339

Confession at issue for man charged with 8 murders

DETROIT (AP) - The lawyer for a self-described hitman is going to court today to ask that his client's confessions be thrown out. After Detroit police arrested him in April 2008, Vincent Smothers told police he had ambushed and killed eight people in a string of hired hits.

Defense attorney Gabi (GAB'-ee) Silver claims the 28-year-old Smothers was worn down by the questions put to him by investigators. Police deny putting undue pressure on him. Silver doesn't dispute the words but claims Smothers was coerced with promises that his wife, who also was arrested, would be released and not charged with aiding him. Smothers faces six trials for eight deaths.










Detroit police ask suspect his job.
"I am a hitman. I kill for money," he says
June 19, 2009
Guardian Co. UK
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jun/19/hitman-confession-police-detroit-us

It comes as no surprise to police officers when a suspect says they are of no fixed abode but when investigators asked Vincent Smothers what he did for a living, they were more than a little taken aback when he confessed: "I don't have a profession. I kill people for money."

The 27-year-old told them he had slain 10 people. Mostly, he said, they were drug dealers in the badlands of Detroit's East Side but one was a police sergeant's wife.

Rose Cobb, 47, was sitting in her van outside a pharmacy when Smothers broke a window with a crowbar and shot her in the head. He told police: "My stomach was in knots. I felt like she was innocent … All the rest were dope dealers."

The tattoo-covered hitman told officers he had brought in $60,000 (£36,000) for his series of killings. Today, his lawyer tried to have his confessions thrown out claiming that Smothers was worn down during the interview process and led to believe that if he kept talking his wife would not be charged with helping him.

Detective Sergeant Ken Ducker of the Michigan state police denied Smothers had been coerced. He said: "He'd been accused of doing so many, he just wanted to get it over with."

Smothers's defence lawyer Gabi Silver said: "The interrogation was extremely long and unfair … The confessions were the product of duress."

The chief investigator in the case, Ira Todd, said that, over the course of four hours, Smothers – who seemed remorseful – gave the details of the killing of Cobb.

He wrote: "I knew at the time these crimes were committed they were wrong and that there would be a price to pay. After Cobb's wife, I could no longer have anything to do with murdering people. I can't bring them back but I hope this allow their families to know that someone is going to pay behind what happened to their loved ones."

Smothers said Cobb's husband David arranged the killing because he was having an affair and wanted his wife's life insurance money – he was never charged but took his own life.

Two other victims were Marshall White, 56, and Johnny Marshall, 64, who he was told to kill because they were believed to be federal informants. Smothers confessed to their murders but has not been charged.

He faces trial for six killings. Court papers say: "Smothers was a killer for hire for a notorious Detroit drug gang that regularly contracted for the murders of members of rival drug gangs as well as dissident members of their own organisations."










Detroit man confession: ‘I kill people for money’
By Ed White
June 19, 2009
Chicago Tribune
http://archives.chicagotribune.com/2009/jun/19/news/chi-ap-us-hitman-confession

Hours after police plucked him out of a suburban alley, Vincent Smothers dropped a bombshell confession: “I don’t have a profession,” he told an investigator. “I kill people for money.”

Then, police say, he laid out details of how each of eight hired hits happened. He stalked his victims before shooting them at close range. He killed some while talking on his cell phone and fired on others even when they appeared to lay lifeless on the ground.

Even in Detroit, which had more than 300 slayings last year, Smothers’ case is notable: Rarely is one person charged in so many deaths. His lawyer wants the confessions thrown out, arguing he was worn down while in custody. Police deny it.

“He’d been accused of doing so many, he just wanted to get it over (with),” said Detective Sgt. Ken Ducker of the Michigan State Police.

Two Detroit officers who questioned Smothers in three of the killings testified Friday that he wasn’t threatened into admitting guilt. Wayne County Circuit Judge Craig Strong still needs to hear more testimony and possibly watch 18 hours of recorded interviews before deciding whether to toss the statements.

Police say Smothers’ work paid $60,000 over two years, although he did one job for as little as $50. All but one of his victims were involved in drugs. The exception was a police officer’s wife.

At 6-foot-1 and less than 150 pounds, Smothers said he didn’t raise suspicion, according to a police account of the confession. He was able to walk up to two Chicago men in town for a drug deal in May 2007 and ask if one if they needed help with their car, which was parked with the trunk open near an interstate.

“He said, ‘Naw, young fellow.’ … Once he turned where he couldn’t see me, I pulled the pistol out and shot him in the head,” Smothers told police.

He said he fired through the windshield and the passenger window while the other man tried to honk the horn to attract attention. Smothers changed weapons without hanging up the phone with the man who hired him. The pay: $15,000.

His last alleged slaying-for-hire was Rose Cobb, the 47-year-old wife of a Detroit officer, on the day after Christmas 2007, according to the confession. She was sitting in her van outside a pharmacy when Smothers, wearing a ski mask, broke a window with a tire iron and shot her in the head.

“My stomach was in knots,” he told police. “I felt like she was innocent. … All the rest were dope dealers.”

Smothers said Cobb’s husband, David Cobb, arranged the killing while having an affair. The sergeant was never charged but hanged himself in September.

The confessions were evidence at a series of hearings over the past year where judges found probable cause to put Smothers on trial. Police also have tapes of the interviews.

Defense lawyer Gabi Silver doesn’t dispute the words but claims Smothers, 28, was coerced with promises that his wife would not be charged with helping him.

“The interrogation was extremely long and unfair. … The confessions were the product of duress,” Silver said in a recent filing in Wayne County court, where Smothers faces six trials.

He spent nearly four hours in April 2008 confessing to Cobb’s death, then went on to talk about the other killings, chief investigator Ira Todd said. Smothers seemed remorseful, he said.

“I knew at the time these crimes were committed they were wrong and that there would be a price to pay,” he wrote. “After Cobb’s wife, I could no longer have anything to do with murdering people.

“I can’t bring them back,” Smothers wrote, “but I hope this allow their families to know that someone is going to pay behind what happened to their loved ones.”










Lawyers for Alleged Detroit Hitman Want 'I Kill People for Money' Confessions Thrown Out
June 19, 2009
Fox News 28- KAYU TV [Spokane]
http://www2.myfoxspokane.com/dpp/news/national/Alleged_Detroit_Hitman_Confesses_to_Police_I_Kill_People_for_Money_33001916

Hours after detectives arrested Vincent Smothers in a suburban Detroit alley in the spring of 2008, they say, he came out with a stunning confession: "I don't have a profession," he allegedly told an investigator. "I kill people for money."

Then, police say, he laid out details of how each of eight hired hits happened. He stalked his victims before shooting them at close range. He killed some while talking on his cell phone and fired on others even when they appeared to lay lifeless on the ground.

Even in Detroit, which had more than 300 slayings last year, Smothers' case is notable: Rarely is one person charged in so many deaths.

Police say Smothers confessed to murders on Detroit's impoverished east side from 2006 until the end of 2007, with the last alleged hit coming on Dec. 26, 2007.

Now, his lawyers want these shocking confessions thrown out, planning on Friday to ask a judge to have them tossed on the grounds that Smothers was worn down while in custody.

Police deny it.

"He'd been accused of doing so many, he just wanted to get it over (with)," said Detective Sgt. Ken Ducker of the Michigan State Police.

Police say the work paid $60,000 over two years, although Smothers did one job for as little as $50. All but one of his victims were involved in drugs. The exception was a police officer's wife.

At 6-foot-1 and less than 150 pounds, Smothers said he didn't raise suspicion, according to a police account of the confession. He was able to walk up to two Chicago men in town for a drug deal in May 2007 and ask if one if they needed help with their car, which was parked with the trunk open near an interstate.

"He said, 'Naw, young fellow.' ... Once he turned where he couldn't see me, I pulled the pistol out and shot him in the head," Smothers told police.

He said he fired through the windshield and the passenger window while the other man tried to honk the horn to attract attention. Smothers changed weapons without hanging up the phone with the man who hired him. The pay: $15,000.

His last alleged slaying-for-hire was Rose Cobb, the 47-year-old wife of a Detroit officer, on the day after Christmas 2007, according to the confession. She was sitting in her van outside a pharmacy when Smothers, wearing a ski mask, broke a window with a tire iron and shot her in the head.

"My stomach was in knots," he told police. "I felt like she was innocent. ... All the rest were dope dealers."

Smothers said Cobb's husband, David Cobb, arranged the killing while having an affair. The sergeant was never charged but hanged himself in September.

The confessions were evidence at a series of hearings over the past year where judges found probable cause to put Smothers on trial. Police also have tapes of the interviews.

Defense lawyer Gabi Silver doesn't dispute the words but claims Smothers, 28, was coerced with promises that his wife would not be charged with helping him.

"The interrogation was extremely long and unfair. ... The confessions were the product of duress," Silver said in a recent filing in Wayne County Circuit Court, where Smothers faces six trials.

He spent nearly four hours in April 2008 confessing to Cobb's death, then went on to talk about the other killings, chief investigator Ira Todd said. Smothers seemed remorseful, he said.

"I knew at the time these crimes were committed they were wrong and that there would be a price to pay," he wrote. "After Cobb's wife, I could no longer have anything to do with murdering people.

"I can't bring them back," Smothers wrote, "but I hope this allow their families to know that someone is going to pay behind what happened to their loved ones."










Detroit man confession: 'I kill people for money'
By ED WHITE
8 hours ago [June 19, 2009]
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hTaY-ZiRKBzatzdYWDV3aSn_EMvQD98TKU2G0

DETROIT (AP) — Hours after police plucked him out of a suburban alley, Vincent Smothers dropped a bombshell confession: "I don't have a profession," he told an investigator. "I kill people for money."

Then, police say, he laid out details of how each of eight hired hits happened. He stalked his victims before shooting them at close range. He killed some while talking on his cell phone and fired on others even when they appeared to lay lifeless on the ground.

Even in Detroit, which had more than 300 slayings last year, Smothers' case is notable: Rarely is one person charged in so many deaths. On Friday, his lawyers planned to ask a judge to have the confessions thrown out, arguing he was worn down while in custody. Police deny it.

"He'd been accused of doing so many, he just wanted to get it over (with)," said Detective Sgt. Ken Ducker of the Michigan State Police.

Police say the work paid $60,000 over two years, although Smothers did one job for as little as $50. All but one of his victims were involved in drugs. The exception was a police officer's wife.

At 6-foot-1 and less than 150 pounds, Smothers said he didn't raise suspicion, according to a police account of the confession. He was able to walk up to two Chicago men in town for a drug deal in May 2007 and ask if one if they needed help with their car, which was parked with the trunk open near an interstate.

"He said, 'Naw, young fellow.' ... Once he turned where he couldn't see me, I pulled the pistol out and shot him in the head," Smothers told police.

He said he fired through the windshield and the passenger window while the other man tried to honk the horn to attract attention. Smothers changed weapons without hanging up the phone with the man who hired him. The pay: $15,000.

His last alleged slaying-for-hire was Rose Cobb, the 47-year-old wife of a Detroit officer, on the day after Christmas 2007, according to the confession. She was sitting in her van outside a pharmacy when Smothers, wearing a ski mask, broke a window with a tire iron and shot her in the head.

"My stomach was in knots," he told police. "I felt like she was innocent. ... All the rest were dope dealers."

Smothers said Cobb's husband, David Cobb, arranged the killing while having an affair. The sergeant was never charged but hanged himself in September.

The confessions were evidence at a series of hearings over the past year where judges found probable cause to put Smothers on trial. Police also have tapes of the interviews.

Defense lawyer Gabi Silver doesn't dispute the words but claims Smothers, 28, was coerced with promises that his wife would not be charged with helping him.

"The interrogation was extremely long and unfair. ... The confessions were the product of duress," Silver said in a recent filing in Wayne County Circuit Court, where Smothers faces six trials.

He spent nearly four hours in April 2008 confessing to Cobb's death, then went on to talk about the other killings, chief investigator Ira Todd said. Smothers seemed remorseful, he said.

"I knew at the time these crimes were committed they were wrong and that there would be a price to pay," he wrote. "After Cobb's wife, I could no longer have anything to do with murdering people.

"I can't bring them back," Smothers wrote, "but I hope this allow their families to know that someone is going to pay behind what happened to their loved ones."










Police: No coercion in confession of Michigan hit man
Published: Friday, June 19, 2009, 6:28 PM
Updated: Wednesday, September 30, 2009, 2:09 PM
MLive
http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2009/06/police_no_coercion_in_confessi.html




In this April 21, 2008 file photo, Vincent Smothers attends his arraignment in Detroit's 36th District Court. Smothers suspected in the December 2007 slaying of a Detroit police sergeant's wife has told investigators he is responsible for at least seven contract killings in less than two years



A Michigan man accused of killing eight people as a hired hit man talked freely -- even laughed -- when he confessed to police, officers testified Friday as a judge considered whether to toss the statements.

Wayne County Circuit Judge Craig Strong heard an hour of testimony in the case of Vincent Smothers, who faces six trials in eight fatal shootings. Police say he claimed he was paid a total of $60,000 to kill his victims over two years. All but one were involved in drug disputes.

Defense attorney Gabi Silver said her client took responsibility for the killings only after hours of grueling interrogation. She said investigators also threatened to charge his wife as an accessory.

Police deny any coercion was involved. In testifying about his interview in one death, Sgt. Michael Martell said Smothers was "very cooperative." Officer Kelly Mullins said Smothers didn't appear tired and never asked for a lawyer while talking to her about two killings.

"Was he talking, laughing?" Assistant Prosecutor Robert Stevens asked Mullins.

"Yes," she replied.

The cornerstone of the prosecutor's case is detailed confessions that followed a chilling admission after Smothers' arrest in April 2008. "I kill people for money," he said, according to police.

After the hearing, Silver said she will attempt to show that Smothers was "between a rock and a hard place" when police mentioned possible consequences for his wife, Cecily.

Smothers, from the Detroit suburb of Shelby Township, seemed comfortable as he took notes and consulted with his lawyer at the hearing. Before it began, Smothers smiled while talking to a deputy.

The judge didn't rule on whether to grant Silver's request to exclude Smothers' statements at upcoming trials. More officers are scheduled to appear at a hearing July 17, and the judge may watch 18 hours of recorded interviews between Smothers and police before making a decision.

Martell said he met Smothers in jail a few days after his arrest. Talking to each other through protective glass, the sergeant said Smothers waived his right to a lawyer and signed a confession in the murder of Willie "Black Will" Watson. Watson was repeatedly shot while smoking a cigarette on a porch in July 2006.

When asked by the prosecutor on Friday whether trickery was involved, Martell replied: "None."

Police said Smothers listed his last job as the slaying of Rose Cobb, the wife of a Detroit police officer, the day after Christmas in 2007. Smothers said he got $50.
Police said Smothers claimed that her killing outside a CVS pharmacy in Detroit put his stomach "in knots." He told police she was an innocent victim while the "rest were dope dealers."

Smothers said Cobb's death was arranged by her husband, David, who was not charged but hanged himself last year.

"We still have unanswered questions as to why," said Rose Cobb's niece, Adrian Gary, who attended the hearing Friday. "We want justice. We plan to be here. ... I kinda feel sorry for him, but our anger is for the man who hired him."










Police: No coercion in confession of Mich. hit man By ED WHITE
Associated Press Writer
Chicago Tribune
June 19, 2009, 4:54 PM CDT
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-mi-hitman-confession,0,5185644.story

DETROIT - A Michigan man accused of killing eight people as a hired hit man talked freely -- even laughed -- when he confessed to police, officers testified Friday as a judge considered whether to toss the statements.

Wayne County Circuit Judge Craig Strong heard an hour of testimony in the case of Vincent Smothers, who faces six trials in eight fatal shootings. Police say he claimed he was paid a total of $60,000 to kill his victims over two years. All but one were involved in drug disputes.

Defense attorney Gabi Silver said her client took responsibility for the killings only after hours of grueling interrogation. She said investigators also threatened to charge his wife as an accessory.

Police deny any coercion was involved. In testifying about his interview in one death, Sgt. Michael Martell said Smothers was "very cooperative." Officer Kelly Mullins said Smothers didn't appear tired and never asked for a lawyer while talking to her about two killings.

"Was he talking, laughing?" Assistant Prosecutor Robert Stevens asked Mullins.

"Yes," she replied.

The cornerstone of the prosecutor's case is detailed confessions that followed a chilling admission after Smothers' arrest in April 2008. "I kill people for money," he said, according to police.

After the hearing, Silver said she will attempt to show that Smothers was "between a rock and a hard place" when police mentioned possible consequences for his wife, Cecily.

Smothers, from the Detroit suburb of Shelby Township, seemed comfortable as he took notes and consulted with his lawyer at the hearing. Before it began, Smothers smiled while talking to a deputy.

The judge didn't rule on whether to grant Silver's request to exclude Smothers' statements at upcoming trials. More officers are scheduled to appear at a hearing July 17, and the judge may watch 18 hours of recorded interviews between Smothers and police before making a decision.

Martell said he met Smothers in jail a few days after his arrest. Talking to each other through protective glass, the sergeant said Smothers waived his right to a lawyer and signed a confession in the murder of Willie "Black Will" Watson. Watson was repeatedly shot while smoking a cigarette on a porch in July 2006.

When asked by the prosecutor on Friday whether trickery was involved, Martell replied: "None."

Police said Smothers listed his last job as the slaying of Rose Cobb, the wife of a Detroit police officer, the day after Christmas in 2007. Smothers said he got $50.

Police said Smothers claimed that her killing outside a CVS pharmacy in Detroit put his stomach "in knots." He told police she was an innocent victim while the "rest were dope dealers."

Smothers said Cobb's death was arranged by her husband, David, who was not charged but hanged himself last year.

"We still have unanswered questions as to why," said Rose Cobb's niece, Adrian Gary, who attended the hearing Friday. "We want justice. We plan to be here. ... I kinda feel sorry for him, but our anger is for the man who hired him."










Testimony taken in Detroit hit man confession WLNS WLNS NEWS
Associated Press
June 19, 2009 1:53 PM ET
http://www.wlns.com/Global/story.asp?S=10563243&nav=0RbQ

DETROIT (AP) - Two Detroit police officers have testified that a man charged with killing eight people was not threatened into making a confession.

Police say Vincent Smothers is a Detroit hit man who was paid to shoot a string of victims, mostly tied to drugs, in 2006 and 2007.

After hours of interrogation by police, Smothers told them, "I kill people for money." Police say he laid out details of how each of 8 hired hits happened.

Smothers' lawyer wants the confessions thrown out. She says he was under duress after the lengthy interrogation in April of last year. Police deny it.

Judge Craig Strong heard testimony today from two officers who questioned Smothers in 3 of the eight killings. Strong still needs to hear more testimony and possibly watch 18 hours of Smothers' recorded interviews with police.

Additional police officers will appear when the hearing resumes July 17.










Detectives testify Smothers' confession wasn't coerced
BY SUZETTE HACKNEY
Detroit Free Press
JUNE 19, 2009
Updated at 1:42 p.m
http://www.freep.com/article/20090619/NEWS01/90619026

A self-confessed hit man was not coerced by police into admitting he went on a two-year killing spree, according to testimony by Detroit homicide detectives made in Wayne County Circuit Court today.

Still, Vincent Smothers’ attorney, Gabi Silver, argued that Smothers was concerned about the welfare of his wife and two small children after his April 2008 arrest, and subsequently made statements that implicated him in at least eight homicides.

“Telling him that his wife, the mother of his children, is going to be charged with accessory to murder, is kind of putting someone between a rock and a hard place,” Silver said after today’s court proceedings. “I think that the very first officer who questioned him coerced him, and everything that flows from that first statement makes the rest of them not voluntary.”

Silver and her client Smothers, 27, appeared in court in the hopes of getting his confessions thrown out. Wayne County Judge Craig Strong heard some testimony today, and will review about 18 hours of Smothers’ videotaped statements before the case continues July 17.

Detroit Police homicide Sgt. Michael Martell and Officer Kelly Mullins testified that they questioned Smothers in three of the eight killings allegedly committed by him. Both said Smothers talked freely, was cooperative, highly intelligent and knew he was confessing to the killings.

Smothers has been charged with first-degree murder in six cases involving eight victims. He has not gone to trial on any of the cases.

Smothers' confession also linked him to four fatal shootings at a suspected Detroit drug house in 2007. Davontae Sanford, 16, is in prison for those killings on Runyon Street after pleading guilty to second-degree murder last year. A judge is still considering whether to throw out the conviction because Sanford's lawyer obtained Smothers' confession to police.










Testimony taken in Detroit hit man confession
Indianapolis Examiner
Jun 19, 2009 11:48 AM (55 mins ago) AP
http://www.examiner.com/a-2077302~Testimony_taken_in_Detroit_hit_man_confession.html

DETROIT-Two Detroit police officers have testified that a man charged with killing eight people was not threatened into making a confession.

Police say Vincent Smothers is a Detroit hit man who was paid to shoot a string of victims, mostly tied to drugs, in 2006 and 2007.

Smothers' lawyer, Gabi Silver, wants the confessions thrown out. She says he was under duress after hours of interrogation in April 2008. Police deny it.

Wayne County Circuit Judge Craig Strong heard testimony Friday from two officers who questioned Smothers in three of the eight killings. Strong still needs to hear more testimony and possibly watch 18 hours of Smothers' recorded interviews with police.

Additional police officers will appear when the hearing resumes July 17.










Detroit Man To Cops: I'm A Hitman
Man Confesses To Eight Paid Slays, Police Say; Lawyers Want Confession Thrown Out

Jun 19, 2009 10:19 am US/Eastern
CBS News Interactive: Crime Beat
http://kdka.com/national/hit.man.confession.2.1051431.html

Hours after police plucked him out of a suburban alley, Vincent Smothers dropped a bombshell confession: "I don't have a profession," he told an investigator. "I kill people for money."

Then, police say, he laid out details of how each of eight hired hits happened. He stalked his victims before shooting them at close range. He killed some while talking on his cell phone and fired on others even when they appeared to be lying lifeless on the ground.

Even in Detroit, which had more than 300 slayings last year, Smothers' case is notable: Rarely is one person charged in so many deaths. On Friday, his lawyers planned to ask a judge to have the confessions thrown out, arguing he was worn down while in custody. Police deny it.

"He'd been accused of doing so many, he just wanted to get it over (with)," said Detective Sgt. Ken Ducker of the Michigan State Police.

Police say the work paid $60,000 over two years, although Smothers did one job for as little as $50. All but one of his victims were involved in drugs. The exception was a police officer's wife.

At 6-foot-1 and less than 150 pounds, Smothers said he didn't raise suspicion, according to a police account of the confession. He was able to walk up to two Chicago men in town for a drug deal in May 2007 and ask if they needed help with their car, which was parked with the trunk open near an interstate.

"He said, 'Naw, young fellow.' ... Once he turned where he couldn't see me, I pulled the pistol out and shot him in the head," Smothers told police.

He said he fired through the windshield and the passenger window while the other man tried to honk the horn to attract attention. Smothers changed weapons without hanging up the phone with the man who hired him. The pay: $15,000.

His last alleged slaying-for-hire was Rose Cobb, the 47-year-old wife of a Detroit officer, on the day after Christmas 2007, according to the confession. She was sitting in her van outside a pharmacy when Smothers, wearing a ski mask, broke a window with a tire iron and shot her in the head.

"My stomach was in knots," he told police. "I felt like she was innocent. ... All the rest were dope dealers."

Smothers said Cobb's husband, David Cobb, arranged the killing while having an affair. The sergeant was never charged but hanged himself in September.

The confessions were evidence at a series of hearings over the past year where judges found probable cause to put Smothers on trial. Police also have tapes of the interviews.

Defense lawyer Gabi Silver doesn't dispute the words but claims Smothers, 28, was coerced with promises that his wife would not be charged with helping him.

"The interrogation was extremely long and unfair. ... The confessions were the product of duress," Silver said in a recent filing in Wayne County Circuit Court, where Smothers faces six trials.

He spent nearly four hours in April 2008 confessing to Cobb's death, then went on to talk about the other killings, chief investigator Ira Todd said. Smothers seemed remorseful, he said.

"I knew at the time these crimes were committed they were wrong and that there would be a price to pay," he wrote. "After Cobb's wife, I could no longer have anything to do with murdering people.

"I can't bring them back," Smothers wrote, "but I hope this allow their families to know that someone is going to pay behind what happened to their loved ones."










Confession or coerced? ‘I kill people for money’
Mich. cops say man admitted earning $60,000 in two years as hitman updated 6/19/2009 7:39:40 AM ET
MSNBC
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31442002/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/t/confession-or-coerced-i-kill-people-money/




Vincent Smothers, 28, allegedly told investigators he is responsible for eight contract killings in less than two years.


DETROIT — Hours after police plucked him out of a suburban alley, Vincent Smothers dropped a bombshell confession: "I don't have a profession," he told an investigator. "I kill people for money."

Then, police say, he laid out details of how each of eight hired hits happened. He stalked his victims before shooting them at close range. He killed some while talking on his cell phone and fired on others even when they appeared to be lying lifeless on the ground.

Even in Detroit, which had more than 300 slayings last year, Smothers' case is notable: Rarely is one person charged in so many deaths. On Friday, his lawyers planned to ask a judge to have the confessions thrown out, arguing he was worn down while in custody. Police deny it.

"He'd been accused of doing so many, he just wanted to get it over (with)," said Detective Sgt. Ken Ducker of the Michigan State Police.

Police say the work paid $60,000 over two years, although Smothers did one job for as little as $50. All but one of his victims were involved in drugs. The exception was a police officer's wife.

At 6-foot-1 and less than 150 pounds, Smothers said he didn't raise suspicion, according to a police account of the confession. He was able to walk up to two Chicago men in town for a drug deal in May 2007 and ask if one if they needed help with their car, which was parked with the trunk open near an interstate.

"He said, 'Naw, young fellow.' ... Once he turned where he couldn't see me, I pulled the pistol out and shot him in the head," Smothers told police.

He said he fired through the windshield and the passenger window while the other man tried to honk the horn to attract attention. Smothers changed weapons without hanging up the phone with the man who hired him. The pay: $15,000.

His last alleged slaying-for-hire was Rose Cobb, the 47-year-old wife of a Detroit officer, on the day after Christmas 2007, according to the confession. She was sitting in her van outside a pharmacy when Smothers, wearing a ski mask, broke a window with a tire iron and shot her in the head.

"My stomach was in knots," he told police. "I felt like she was innocent. ... All the rest were dope dealers."

Smothers said Cobb's husband, David Cobb, arranged the killing while having an affair. The sergeant was never charged but hanged himself in September.

The confessions were evidence at a series of hearings over the past year where judges found probable cause to put Smothers on trial. Police also have tapes of the interviews.

'Duress'
Defense lawyer Gabi Silver doesn't dispute the words but claims Smothers, 28, was coerced with promises that his wife would not be charged with helping him.

"The interrogation was extremely long and unfair. ... The confessions were the product of duress," Silver said in a recent filing in Wayne County Circuit Court, where Smothers faces six trials.

He spent nearly four hours in April 2008 confessing to Cobb's death, then went on to talk about the other killings, chief investigator Ira Todd said. Smothers seemed remorseful, he said.

"I knew at the time these crimes were committed they were wrong and that there would be a price to pay," he wrote. "After Cobb's wife, I could no longer have anything to do with murdering people.

"I can't bring them back," Smothers wrote, "but I hope this allow their families to know that someone is going to pay behind what happened to their loved ones.









Detroit man confession: 'I kill people for money'
by Ed White
The Associated Press
MLive
Friday June 19, 2009, 6:37 AM
http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2009/06/detroit_man_confession_i_kill.html

DETROIT -- Hours after police plucked him out of a suburban alley, Vincent Smothers dropped a bombshell confession: "I don't have a profession," he told an investigator. "I kill people for money."

Then, police say, he laid out details of how each of eight hired hits happened. He stalked his victims before shooting them at close range. He killed some while talking on his cell phone and fired on others even when they appeared to lay lifeless on the ground.

Even in Detroit, which had more than 300 slayings last year, Smothers' case is notable: Rarely is one person charged in so many deaths. On Friday, his lawyers planned to ask a judge to have the confessions thrown out, arguing he was worn down while in custody. Police deny it.

"He'd been accused of doing so many, he just wanted to get it over (with)," said Detective Sgt. Ken Ducker of the Michigan State Police.

Police say the work paid $60,000 over two years, although Smothers did one job for as little as $50. All but one of his victims were involved in drugs. The exception was a police officer's wife.

At 6-foot-1 and less than 150 pounds, Smothers said he didn't raise suspicion, according to a police account of the confession. He was able to walk up to two Chicago men in town for a drug deal in May 2007 and ask if one if they needed help with their car, which was parked with the trunk open near an interstate.

"He said, 'Naw, young fellow.' ... Once he turned where he couldn't see me, I pulled the pistol out and shot him in the head," Smothers told police.

He said he fired through the windshield and the passenger window while the other man tried to honk the horn to attract attention. Smothers changed weapons without hanging up the phone with the man who hired him. The pay: $15,000.

His last alleged slaying-for-hire was Rose Cobb, the 47-year-old wife of a Detroit officer, on the day after Christmas 2007, according to the confession. She was sitting in her van outside a pharmacy when Smothers, wearing a ski mask, broke a window with a tire iron and shot her in the head.

"My stomach was in knots," he told police. "I felt like she was innocent. ... All the rest were dope dealers."

Smothers said Cobb's husband, David Cobb, arranged the killing while having an affair. The sergeant was never charged but hanged himself in September.

The confessions were evidence at a series of hearings over the past year where judges found probable cause to put Smothers on trial. Police also have tapes of the interviews.

Defense lawyer Gabi Silver doesn't dispute the words but claims Smothers, 28, was coerced with promises that his wife would not be charged with helping him.

"The interrogation was extremely long and unfair. ... The confessions were the product of duress," Silver said in a recent filing in Wayne County Circuit Court, where Smothers faces six trials.

He spent nearly four hours in April 2008 confessing to Cobb's death, then went on to talk about the other killings, chief investigator Ira Todd said. Smothers seemed remorseful, he said.

"I knew at the time these crimes were committed they were wrong and that there would be a price to pay," he wrote. "After Cobb's wife, I could no longer have anything to do with murdering people.

"I can't bring them back," Smothers wrote, "but I hope this allow their families to know that someone is going to pay behind what happened to their loved ones."










Vincent Smothers confesses to eight Detroit murders: 'I kill people for money'
Published: Friday, June 19, 2009, 6:15 AM
Updated: Wednesday, September 30, 2009, 2:04 PM
MLive
http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2009/06/vincent_smothers_confesses_to.html




In this April 21, 2008 file photo, Vincent Smothers attends his arraignment in Detroit's 36th District Court.


Hours after police plucked him out of a suburban Detroit alley, Vincent Smothers dropped a bombshell confession: "I don't have a profession," he told an investigator. "I kill people for money."

Then, police say, he laid out details of how each of eight hired hits happened. He stalked his victims before shooting them at close range. He killed some while talking on his cell phone and fired on others even when they appeared to be lying lifeless on the ground.

Even in Detroit, which had more than 300 slayings last year, Smothers' case is notable: Rarely is one person charged in so many deaths. On Friday, his lawyers planned to ask a judge to have the confessions thrown out, arguing he was worn down while in custody. Police deny it.

"He'd been accused of doing so many, he just wanted to get it over (with)," said Detective Sgt. Ken Ducker of the Michigan State Police.

Police say the work paid $60,000 over two years, although Smothers did one job for as little as $50. All but one of his victims were involved in drugs. The exception was a police officer's wife.

At 6-foot-1 (1.85 meters) and less than 150 pounds (68 kilograms), Smothers said he didn't raise suspicion, according to a police account of the confession. He was able to walk up to two Chicago men in town for a drug deal in May 2007 and ask if one if they needed help with their car, which was parked with the trunk open near an interstate.

"He said, 'Naw, young fellow.' ... Once he turned where he couldn't see me, I pulled the pistol out and shot him in the head," Smothers told police.

He said he fired through the windshield and the passenger window while the other man tried to honk the horn to attract attention. Smothers changed weapons without hanging up the phone with the man who hired him. The pay: $15,000.

His last alleged slaying-for-hire was Rose Cobb, the 47-year-old wife of a Detroit officer, on the day after Christmas 2007, according to the confession. She was sitting in her van outside a pharmacy when Smothers, wearing a ski mask, broke a window with a tire iron and shot her in the head.

"My stomach was in knots," he told police. "I felt like she was innocent. ... All the rest were dope dealers."

Smothers said Cobb's husband, David Cobb, arranged the killing while having an affair. The sergeant was never charged but hanged himself in September.

The confessions were evidence at a series of hearings over the past year where judges found probable cause to put Smothers on trial. Police also have tapes of the interviews.

Defense lawyer Gabi Silver doesn't dispute the words but claims Smothers, 28, was coerced with promises that his wife would not be charged with helping him.

"The interrogation was extremely long and unfair. ... The confessions were the product of duress," Silver said in a recent filing in Wayne County Circuit Court, where Smothers faces six trials.

He spent nearly four hours in April 2008 confessing to Cobb's death, then went on to talk about the other killings, chief investigator Ira Todd said. Smothers seemed remorseful, he said.

"I knew at the time these crimes were committed they were wrong and that there would be a price to pay," he wrote. "After Cobb's wife, I could no longer have anything to do with murdering people.

"I can't bring them back," Smothers wrote, "but I hope this allow their families to know that someone is going to pay behind what happened to their loved ones."










Detroit man confession: 'I kill people for money' Published - Jun 19 2009 04:43AM EDT
By ED WHITE
Associated Press Writer
http://www.rr.com/news/news/article/rr/9001/8099937/Detroit_man_confession_I_kill_people_for_money

Hours after police plucked him out of a suburban alley, Vincent Smothers dropped a bombshell confession: "I don't have a profession," he told an investigator. "I kill people for money."

Then, police say, he laid out details of how each of eight hired hits happened. He stalked his victims before shooting them at close range. He killed some while talking on his cell phone and fired on others even when they appeared to lay lifeless on the ground.

Even in Detroit, which had more than 300 slayings last year, Smothers' case is notable: Rarely is one person charged in so many deaths. On Friday, his lawyers planned to ask a judge to have the confessions thrown out, arguing he was worn down while in custody. Police deny it.

"He'd been accused of doing so many, he just wanted to get it over (with)," said Detective Sgt. Ken Ducker of the Michigan State Police.

Police say the work paid $60,000 over two years, although Smothers did one job for as little as $50. All but one of his victims were involved in drugs. The exception was a police officer's wife.

At 6-foot-1 and less than 150 pounds, Smothers said he didn't raise suspicion, according to a police account of the confession. He was able to walk up to two Chicago men in town for a drug deal in May 2007 and ask if one if they needed help with their car, which was parked with the trunk open near an interstate.

"He said, 'Naw, young fellow.' ... Once he turned where he couldn't see me, I pulled the pistol out and shot him in the head," Smothers told police.

He said he fired through the windshield and the passenger window while the other man tried to honk the horn to attract attention. Smothers changed weapons without hanging up the phone with the man who hired him. The pay: $15,000.

His last alleged slaying-for-hire was Rose Cobb, the 47-year-old wife of a Detroit officer, on the day after Christmas 2007, according to the confession. She was sitting in her van outside a pharmacy when Smothers, wearing a ski mask, broke a window with a tire iron and shot her in the head.

"My stomach was in knots," he told police. "I felt like she was innocent. ... All the rest were dope dealers."

Smothers said Cobb's husband, David Cobb, arranged the killing while having an affair. The sergeant was never charged but hanged himself in September.

The confessions were evidence at a series of hearings over the past year where judges found probable cause to put Smothers on trial. Police also have tapes of the interviews.

Defense lawyer Gabi Silver doesn't dispute the words but claims Smothers, 28, was coerced with promises that his wife would not be charged with helping him.

"The interrogation was extremely long and unfair. ... The confessions were the product of duress," Silver said in a recent filing in Wayne County Circuit Court, where Smothers faces six trials.

He spent nearly four hours in April 2008 confessing to Cobb's death, then went on to talk about the other killings, chief investigator Ira Todd said. Smothers seemed remorseful, he said.

"I knew at the time these crimes were committed they were wrong and that there would be a price to pay," he wrote. "After Cobb's wife, I could no longer have anything to do with murdering people.

"I can't bring them back," Smothers wrote, "but I hope this allow their families to know that someone is going to pay behind what happened to their loved ones."










Confession at issue for man charged with 8 murders Up North Live
Friday, June 19, 2009 at 4:16 a.m.
http://www.upnorthlive.com/news/news_story.aspx?id=314893

(AP) -- The lawyer for a self-described hitman is going to court today to ask that his client's confessions be thrown out. After Detroit police arrested him in April 2008, Vincent Smothers told police he had ambushed and killed eight people in a string of hired hits.

Defense attorney Gabi (GAB'-ee) Silver claims the 28-year-old Smothers was worn down by the questions put to him by investigators. Police deny putting undue pressure on him. Silver doesn't dispute the words but claims Smothers was coerced with promises that his wife, who also was arrested, would be released and not charged with aiding him. Smothers faces six trials for eight deaths.












Detroit man confession: 'I kill people for money'
The News Tribune [Tacoma WA]
June 19, 2009
BY ED WHITE; ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER
Published: 06/19/09 1:49 am
Updated: 06/19/09 1:49 am
http://www.thenewstribune.com/tacoma/24hour/nation/story/783859.html

DETROIT --Hours after police plucked him out of a suburban alley, Vincent Smothers dropped a bombshell confession: "I don't have a profession," he told an investigator. "I kill people for money."

Then, police say, he laid out details of how each of eight hired hits happened. He stalked his victims before shooting them at close range. He killed some while talking on his cell phone and fired on others even when they appeared to lay lifeless on the ground.

Even in Detroit, which had more than 300 slayings last year, Smothers' case is notable: Rarely is one person charged in so many deaths. On Friday, his lawyers planned to ask a judge to have the confessions thrown out, arguing he was worn down while in custody. Police deny it.

"He'd been accused of doing so many, he just wanted to get it over (with)," said Detective Sgt. Ken Ducker of the Michigan State Police.

Police say the work paid $60,000 over two years, although Smothers did one job for as little as $50. All but one of his victims were involved in drugs. The exception was a police officer's wife.

At 6-foot-1 and less than 150 pounds, Smothers said he didn't raise suspicion, according to a police account of the confession. He was able to walk up to two Chicago men in town for a drug deal in May 2007 and ask if one if they needed help with their car, which was parked with the trunk open near an interstate.

"He said, 'Naw, young fellow.' ... Once he turned where he couldn't see me, I pulled the pistol out and shot him in the head," Smothers told police.

He said he fired through the windshield and the passenger window while the other man tried to honk the horn to attract attention. Smothers changed weapons without hanging up the phone with the man who hired him. The pay: $15,000.

His last alleged slaying-for-hire was Rose Cobb, the 47-year-old wife of a Detroit officer, on the day after Christmas 2007, according to the confession. She was sitting in her van outside a pharmacy when Smothers, wearing a ski mask, broke a window with a tire iron and shot her in the head.

"My stomach was in knots," he told police. "I felt like she was innocent. ... All the rest were dope dealers."

Smothers said Cobb's husband, David Cobb, arranged the killing while having an affair. The sergeant was never charged but hanged himself in September.

The confessions were evidence at a series of hearings over the past year where judges found probable cause to put Smothers on trial. Police also have tapes of the interviews.

Defense lawyer Gabi Silver doesn't dispute the words but claims Smothers, 28, was coerced with promises that his wife would not be charged with helping him.

"The interrogation was extremely long and unfair. ... The confessions were the product of duress," Silver said in a recent filing in Wayne County Circuit Court, where Smothers faces six trials.

He spent nearly four hours in April 2008 confessing to Cobb's death, then went on to talk about the other killings, chief investigator Ira Todd said. Smothers seemed remorseful, he said.

"I knew at the time these crimes were committed they were wrong and that there would be a price to pay," he wrote. "After Cobb's wife, I could no longer have anything to do with murdering people.

"I can't bring them back," Smothers wrote, "but I hope this allow their families to know that someone is going to pay behind what happened to their loved ones."










Defense claims Vincent Smothers was coerced into confessing to Rose Cobb's and 8 other murders
June 19, 2009



Video from: Cloudwriter / Behind The Blue Wall:






After his arrest in April 2008, Vincent Smothers confessed to police that he was a hired hitman. He signed a confession stating that he had killed Rose Cobb and eight others.






Smothers' defense attorney [Gabi Silver] argued in a recent hearing that he had been coerced into confessing to the murders.






The defense claimed that the police had threatened to arrest and charge Smothers' wife as an accomplice in the murders, if he did not confess to the murders....






....that Smothers had signed the confession after hours of interrogation....






....and while under duress.






Smothers and his defense attorney were thus requesting that the Court throw out his confession to the police from April 2008.






In the confession that Smothers now wanted thrown out, was his admission that he had been hired by Officer Cobb to kill Rose....And that Cobb had given him $50 towards the contract before he killed Rose.






Smothers also claimed in the confession that Rose Cobb was the only murder that he had commited that did not involve a drug dealer.






Police officers testified at the hearing that Smothers had not been coerced into confessing / signing the confession to the murder of Rose Cobb and eight others.






Police officers testified at the hearing that Smothers had not been coerced into confessing / signing the confession to the murder of Rose Cobb and eight others.






Police officers testified at the hearing that Smothers had not been coerced into confessing / signing the confession to the murder of Rose Cobb and eight others.






Rose's family members were present at murder case hearing. It has been almost 2 years since Rose's murder and her family is determined to obtain justice for her.












Murder unresolved after wife's killing
BY BEN SCHMITT and SUZETTE HACKNEY
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITERS
Posted: 11:43 p.m. Oct. 21, 2008
Updated: 11:58 p.m. Oct. 21, 2008
http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:IFzVWsq6nSYJ:www.freep.com/article/20081021/NEWS05/310210007/Murder-unresolved-after-wife%255C-s-killing+Rose+Cobb+murder,+michigan&cd=8&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us





Displaying a photo of the late Rose Cobb are her family members, clockwise from left, Adrian Gary, 34; Taneeka Gary, 35; Sheryl Gary, 54, and Elizabeth Haygood, 50, all of Detroit. They believe her husband's family is in denial over his role in her killing. KIMBERLY P. MITCHELL/Detroit Free Press






The late Detroit Police Sgt. David Cobb







Funeral programs for Rose Cobb, left, and David Cobb mark the end of a love gone wrong. Law enforcement sources say he masterminded her slaying -- and was about to be charged when he committed suicide.







Taneeka Gary, 35, of Detroit, left, and her aunt, Elizabeth Haygood, 50, also of Detroit, at their grandmother's home in Detroit on Oct. 16. They talked about the suicide of David Cobb, who they feel is responsible for the death of their sister and aunt Rose Cobb. KIMBERLY P. MITCHELL/Detroit Free Press


Detroit Police Sgt. David Cobb went to his grave maintaining his innocence in his wife's murder, but law enforcement sources say he masterminded the slaying -- and was about to be charged.

Before hanging himself in a secluded suburban park last month, Cobb mailed two letters to his younger brother: one addressed to his family and the other addressed to his dead wife. Even in death, he professed his love for Rose Cobb.

But sources said plea negotiations were under way with two people already charged in her death that would have led to murder charges against Cobb -- charges that would stick this time. Cobb knew these charges were looming when he took his life, those sources said.

"It was our belief that it was imminent and inevitable that he was going to be rearrested for the murder of Rose Cobb," said a Detroit police veteran familiar with the investigation. "I think he also knew that."

In an interview with the Free Press, Rose Cobb's family said it views Cobb's suicide as nothing more than an admission of guilt. His father said he did not believe his son would ever be charged.

Rose Cobb, 47, was shot four times in the head on Dec. 26 while she waited for Cobb inside his minivan parked at a CVS on Detroit's east side. Self-professed hit man Vincent Smothers confessed to using a tire iron to smash the window and shoot her as she clutched her purse, silently screamed and tried to claw her way to the back seat.

David Cobb, 38, was arrested April 20, a day after Smothers told police Cobb hired him, orchestrated the killing and paid him through a middleman for his services. But the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office declined to charge Cobb, citing a lack of evidence. Cobb remained suspended without pay from the Detroit Police Department.

"If you didn't do anything then why'd you kill yourself?" said Taneeka Gary, Rose Cobb's 35-year-old niece. "We never got to see him brought to justice."

Cobb's father, Arthur, said Cobb was distraught about his employment status and his inability to support himself. Cobb told his father he was toying with relocating to West Virginia to become a blackjack dealer.

"He seemed happy that things had changed because he had been running into a lot of dead ends," Arthur Cobb recently told the Free Press.

Yet, on Sept. 26, Cobb drove his white Nissan 350 to Dodge Park in Sterling Heights, walked to a dirt path about 120 yards off the main trail, attached an orange rope to a tree and hanged himself. Two bikers spotted him around 7 p.m. When police arrived, they found Cobb's body -- his feet still touching the ground -- and a half-empty Absolut vodka bottle and cranberry juice container near him.

Nobody knows why Cobb chose Dodge Park as the place to end his life on that Friday evening. Cobb had stopped by his father's west-side Detroit home four days earlier and spent the night. In hindsight, Arthur Cobb said his son may have come by to say good-bye.

The letters offer some insight.

"He felt life would not be worth living without Rose there," said Arthur Cobb, 67. "I think he wanted to be with her."

Late-blooming love
The couple's love affair began in the corridors of Wayne State University, where Rose Bennett was a graduate student, then around 37, and David Cobb, who had a bachelor's degree in economics, worked as a security guard. He was attracted to the quiet, yet self-assured woman, and the two got to know each other, though she was uneasy about dating a man 10 years her junior.

"She asked me about him being younger, I said, 'He's nice, he's educated, he's got stuff going for him,' " said sister Sheryl Gary, 54. "The next thing I knew, they were getting married."

The couple drove to Toledo to elope, and were seemingly happy for most of their 8-year marriage. By family accounts, Rose Cobb took care of her husband, offering support as David Cobb planned his rise through the ranks of the Detroit Police Department.

"She was a very sweet woman and she was good for him," Arthur Cobb said. "I think she provided an anchor for him."

Cobb acknowledged as much in Rose Cobb's funeral program.

"You always supported me. You always believed in me. When we first met, I had nothing, not even a car, only my plans and dreams," he wrote. "You saw past that and loved me for who I am and not for what I could offer."

Cobb, who grew up on Detroit's west side, played the viola, wrote poems, enjoyed tennis and excelled at mathematics. He was an accomplished boxer, winning a Diamond Glove amateur bout in 1988.

Cobb's parents divorced when he was in middle school. But they lived only two blocks apart and Cobb and his two brothers had strong relationships with their parents, Arthur Cobb said.

When he joined the Detroit Police Department, Cobb declared he would someday be police chief. To further his career, Cobb enrolled in law school at WSU.

Rose Cobb's family said the marriage began to disintegrate because Rose Cobb suspected infidelity, and was in tatters by the time David Cobb went to trial in 2006on accusations that he solicited a 15-year-old girl for sex.

Cobb was charged with accosting a child for immoral purposes, a felony that carries a sentence of up to 4 years in prison, and malicious telephone use, a 6-month misdemeanor.

During the nonjury trial, the girl claimed Cobb offered her a ride in what appeared to be an unmarked patrol car and asked about her sexual experiences and whether she wanted to go to his house. She said Cobb later called her cell phone and sent lewd text messages.

He was acquitted by Wayne County Circuit Judge Bruce Morrow, who could not be reached for this report.

Cobb vehemently denied ever having sex with the girl, but his wife was skeptical.
"She said to me, 'What else is he hiding?' " said Rose Cobb's sister Elizabeth Haygood, 50.

Months before her death, Haygood said, her sister again confided in her.

"She said: 'I want a divorce,' " Haygood said.

Police: 'This was a hit'
On the day Rose Cobb died, Cobb called her and asked her to be dressed and ready to go to the store, according to the confessions of Smothers and alleged middleman Marzell Black. Cobb had already schooled Smothers on police interrogation techniques, the importance of getting rid of the gun and wearing gloves and arm sleeves to avoid gunpowder residue, they told police.

Cobb told them he'd be at CVS within the hour. When Black and Smothers arrived at the store on Jefferson and Dickerson, they sat in the car as Cobb walked by.

"David Cobb gave me a slight nod indicating that it was time to go," Smothers said in his confession.

Despite the confessions of Smothers, 27, of Shelby Township and Black, 21, of Detroit, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy declined to charge Cobb. She said at the time that, even with the statements, Black and Smothers could not be forced to testify.

Worthy declined to comment for this report.

But Detroit homicide investigators said evidence pointed to Cobb from the beginning: The minivan was intact other than the broken window, Rose Cobb's purse wasn't stolen and CVS surveillance cameras showed that Cobb entered and exited the store three times -- never purchasing anything -- before the shooting.

"We could tell this was a hit," the Detroit police source said.

Police said Black introduced Cobb to Smothers. In his confession, Black said he met Cobb through his mother, Sheila Black. Cobb first approached Marzell Black about obtaining a gun and later said he needed someone killed.

In his confession, Smothers said he learned Cobb was having an affair with Sheila Black.

"I will say that there is evidence that he had a relationship with Black's mother," Cobb's attorney, Elbert Hatchett, told the Free Press. "I can't go any further than that."

Smothers' attorney Gabi Silver acknowledged plea-deal discussions with prosecutors. Her client is facing six murder charges. He and Black are due in court Nov. 6 for a final pretrial conference.

"There were discussions but there had never been any agreement at all," Silver said of the negotiations.

Black's original attorney, Todd Flood, who was later replaced by Wright Blake, declined to comment. Blake did not return repeated phone calls for comment.

However, sources close to the case said Black had been offered a deal in which he would plead guilty to solicitation of murder in exchange for his testimony against Cobb and dismissal of the first-degree murder charge. Black would have served a minimum 17 years in prison under the deal that was never completed.

Hatchett said he was unaware of any such deal.

Families apart
On Oct. 4, Cobb's distraught family gathered with about 80 people at Detroit's Hartford Memorial Baptist Church for his funeral. They tucked a picture of a smiling Rose and David in a four-page glossy funeral program.

"David, I love you and I believe in you," his father wrote in the program. "I believe in your love for Rose and that you wanted to be with her."

His mother, Delores Cobb, wrote: "I know the heart lives on and you are at peace now with Rose."

Rose Cobb's loved ones said the Cobb family remains in a state of denial about his guilt.

Following Rose Cobb's shooting, Cobb's behavior was inappropriate, her family said.

"He didn't do anything for her -- he didn't see if she had a pulse or if she was breathing," said Adrian Gary, 34, Rose Cobb's niece. "You didn't have a speck of blood on you. You would have asked people: Did they see anything? It's just like the movies, you're going to get down, hold her, holler, scream 'somebody help' or something. He just went back in the store to call 911."

Her family members said they had no input in planning Rose Cobb's funeral -- they wanted her buried but he had her cremated.

To this day, Rose Cobb's family has no idea where her remains or any of her personal possessions are. They didn't go to Cobb's funeral, but did attend the viewing. They said they just had to see his body.

Adrian Gary signed the registry.

She wrote: "The family of Rose Bennett/Cobb. May she now rest in peace."










Detroit police sergeant found hanged in park
Charleston Mail
September 27, 2008
http://www.dailymail.com/News/200809270031

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. (AP) -- A Detroit police sergeant whose wife was shot to death in a suspected contract killing has been found hanged in a suburban park.

Police tell the Detroit Free Press that 38-year-old Sgt. David Cobb was found dead Friday night in Sterling Heights, a city 15 miles north of downtown Detroit.

Cobb's 47-year-old wife, Rose, was fatally shot Dec. 26 in a parking lot on Detroit's east side. In April, police arrested 27-year-old Vincent Smothers, who told police Cobb hired him to kill his wife.

Smothers claimed Cobb was having an affair and wanted his wife's life insurance money. He is awaiting trial for murder.

Cobb was arrested a day after Smothers. He was released after prosecutors said there wasn't enough evidence to charge him.










Local news in brief
SEPTEMBER 27, 2008
Detroit Free Press
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080927/NEWS05/809270313/1007/NEWS

A suspended Detroit police sergeant whose wife was shot to death in December was found dead near a bike path in Dodge Park in Sterling Heights on Friday night.

Sgt. David Cobb, 38, hanged himself, Detroit police spokesman James Tate and Sterling Heights police told the Free Press.

Cobb's wife, Rose Cobb, 47, was fatally shot as she sat in her car in the parking lot of a CVS in the 12000 block of East Jefferson in Detroit the day after Christmas. David Cobb was inside shopping at the time.

Vincent Smothers, 27, a confessed hit man, told police Cobb hired him to kill his wife. He claimed Cobb was having an affair and that Cobb wanted his wife's life insurance money.

Smothers was arrested in April and is awaiting trial.

Cobb was arrested a day after Smothers, but Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said there was not enough evidence to charge him, and he was later released.

Cobb was suspended without pay pending the investigation into his wife's slaying, Tate said.

Detroit police sources told the Free Press on Friday night that investigators were making significant progress toward presenting new evidence against Cobb to prosecutors.










Detroit Police sergeant found dead in park
Posted By: WZZM 13, Grand Rapids MI
September 27, 2008
http://www.wzzm13.com/news/news_story.aspx?storyid=99152&catid=14

A suspended Detroit police sergeant whose wife was shot to death in December was found dead near a bike path in Dodge Park in Sterling Heights on Friday night.

Sgt. David Cobb, 38, hanged himself, Detroit police spokesman James Tate and Sterling Heights police told the Free Press.

Cobb's wife, Rose Cobb, 47, was fatally shot as she sat in her car in the parking lot of a CVS in the 12000 block of East Jefferson in Detroit the day after Christmas. David Cobb was inside shopping at the time. Vincent Smothers, 27, a confessed hit man, told police Cobb hired him to kill his wife. He claimed Cobb was having an affair and that Cobb wanted his wife's life insurance money.

Smothers was arrested in April and is awaiting trial.

Cobb was arrested a day after Smothers, but Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said there was not enough evidence to charge him, and he was later released.

Cobb was suspended without pay pending the investigation into his wife's slaying, Tate said.

Detroit police sources told the Free Press on Friday night that investigators were making significant progress toward presenting new evidence against Cobb to prosecutors.

By Ben Schmitt and Suzette Hackney, Detroit Free Press








Detroit police sergeant found hanged in park
Toledo Blade
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Article published Saturday, September 27, 2008
http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080927/NEWS03/809270247

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. — A Detroit police sergeant whose wife was shot to death in a suspected contract killing has been found hanged in a Sterling Heights park.

Police tell the Detroit Free Press that 38-year-old Sgt. David Cobb was found dead Friday night in the city 15 miles north of downtown Detroit.

Cobb’s 47-year-old wife Rose was fatally shot Dec. 26 as she sat in the parking lot of a drug store on Detroit’s east side. Police in April arrested 27-year-old Vincent Smothers, who told police Cobb hired him to kill his wife.

Smothers, who awaits trial in the murder, claimed Cobb was having an affair and wanted his wife’s life insurance money.

Cobb was arrested a day after Smothers, but was released after prosecutors said there wasn’t enough evidence to charge him.










Detroit Police Sergeant Found Hanged in Park
TIME
By AP Saturday, Sep. 27, 2008
http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1845130,00.htm

(AP / STERLlING HEIGHTS, Mich.) — A Detroit police sergeant whose wife was shot to death in a suspected contract killing has been found hanged in a suburban park.

Police tell the Detroit Free Press that 38-year-old Sgt. David Cobb was found dead Friday night in Sterling Heights, a city 15 miles north of downtown Detroit.

Cobb's 47-year-old wife, Rose, was fatally shot Dec. 26 in a parking lot on Detroit's east side. In April, police arrested 27-year-old Vincent Smothers, who told police Cobb hired him to kill his wife.

Smothers claimed Cobb was having an affair and wanted his wife's life insurance money. He is awaiting trial for murder.

Cobb was arrested a day after Smothers. He was released after prosecutors said there wasn't enough evidence to charge him.










Detroit police sergeant found hanged
Saturday, September 27, 2008
ABC News, Channel 30
http://abclocal.go.com/kfsn/story?section=news/national_world&id=6418159

STERLING HEIGHTS, MI -- A Detroit police sergeant whose wife was shot to death in a suspected contract killing has been found hanged in a suburban park.

Police tell the Detroit Free Press that 38-year-old Sgt. David Cobb was found dead Friday night in Sterling Heights, a city 15 miles north of downtown Detroit.

Cobb's 47-year-old wife, Rose, was fatally shot Dec. 26 in a parking lot on Detroit's east side. In April, police arrested 27-year-old Vincent Smothers, who told police Cobb hired him to kill his wife.

Smothers claimed Cobb was having an affair and wanted his wife's life insurance money. He is awaiting trial for murder.

Cobb was arrested a day after Smothers. He was released after prosecutors said there wasn't enough evidence to charge him.










Cop suspected in wife's death commits suicide
Doug Guthrie and Santiago Esparza
The Detroit News
Saturday, September 27, 2008
http://detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080927/METRO/809270419

The Wayne County Prosecutor's office had no comment Saturday following the suicide of a Detroit police sergeant who had previously been arrested and later released in connection with his wife's death.

Maria Miller, spokeswoman for Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, said her office would not issue a statement.

David Cobb committed suicide and was found dead about dusk Friday in Dodge Park in Sterling Heights, Sterling Heights Police said. He had been suspended from his job with Detroit police since his brief arrest in April in connection with his wife's death.

The Associated Press reported Cobb was found hanged in the park.

James Tate, Detroit Police spokesman, said Saturday "the investigation into his wife's homicide has been continuing since ... her death."

Tate said he was not aware of any new information that has surfaced in that investigation.

Rose Cobb, 47, was shot four times in the face Dec. 26, 2007, while waiting alone in her minivan in the parking lot of a Detroit CVS drug store.
Cobb was inside the store.

Vincent Smothers, 27, who awaits trial on charges of Rose Cobb's murder, has confessed to police he was hired by Cobb to kill his wife. Cobb was arrested April 20 but released the next day due to insufficient evidence.

Cobb's alleged involvement remained under investigation by the Police Department's Internal Affairs Unit and the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office.

Smothers said he was introduced to Cobb in November and was offered $10,000 for the slaying. Smothers said Cobb was having an affair, and he wanted his wife's $200,000 life insurance policy.

Cobb told The Detroit News in May, "I can't say anything except that there's a side to this that no one in the media has asked me about at all." He declined to say more.











Police sergeant suspected in wife's death kills himself Doug Guthrie
The Detroit News
Saturday, September 27, 2008
http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080927/METRO/809270417/&imw=Y

STERLING HEIGHTS -- A Detroit police sergeant, whose wife was shot to death in 2007 by a self-confessed hit man, committed suicide Friday in a Sterling Heights park.

David Cobb, suspended since his brief arrest in April, was found dead about dusk Friday in Dodge Park, said Sterling Heights Police.

Rose Cobb, 47, was shot four times in the face Dec. 26, 2007, while waiting alone in her minivan in the parking lot of a Detroit CVS drug store.

David Cobb was inside the store.

Vincent Smothers, 27, who awaits trial for murder, has confessed to police he was hired by Cobb to kill his wife. Cobb was arrested April 20 but released the next day due to insufficient evidence. Cobb's alleged involvement remained under investigation by the Police Department's Internal Affairs Unit and the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office.

Smothers claimed he was introduced to Cobb in November and was offered $10,000 for the slaying. Smothers said Cobb was having an affair, and he wanted his wife's $200,000 life insurance policy.

Cobb told The Detroit News in May, "I can't say anything except that there's a side to this that no one in the media has asked me about at all." He declined to say more.

Associated Press contributed to this report.










Detroit Police sergeant found dead in Sterling Heights park
BY BEN SCHMITT AND SUZETTE HACKNEY
Detroit Free Press
SEPTEMBER 27, 2008
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080927/NEWS01/80927009/0/NEWS15

A suspended Detroit police sergeant whose wife was shot to death in December was found dead near a bike path in Dodge Park in Sterling Heights on Friday night.

Sgt. David Cobb, 38, hanged himself, Detroit police spokesman James Tate and Sterling Heights police told the Free Press.

Cobb's wife, Rose Cobb, 47, was fatally shot as she sat in her car in the parking lot of a CVS in the 12000 block of East Jefferson in Detroit the day after Christmas. David Cobb was inside shopping at the time. Vincent Smothers, 27, a confessed hit man, told police Cobb hired him to kill his wife. He claimed Cobb was having an affair and that Cobb wanted his wife's life insurance money.
Smothers was arrested in April and is awaiting trial.

Cobb was arrested a day after Smothers, but Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said there was not enough evidence to charge him, and he was later released.
Cobb was suspended without pay pending the investigation into his wife's slaying, Tate said.

Detroit police sources told the Free Press on Friday night that investigators were making significant progress toward presenting new evidence against Cobb to prosecutors.












Detroit Police Sergeant Accused of Having His Wife Murdered Found Hanging in Park
FOX NEWS, PA
Last Edited: Saturday, 27 Sep 2008, 4:43 PM EDT
Created: Saturday, 27 Sep 2008, 4:43 PM EDT
http://www.myfoxnepa.com/myfox/pages/News/Detail?contentId=7528536&version=1&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=TSTY&pageId=3.1.109/27/2008

A Detroit police sergeant whose wife was shot to death in a suspected contract killing has been found hanged in a suburban park.

Police tell the Detroit Free Press that 38-year-old Sgt. David Cobb was found dead Friday night in Sterling Heights, a city 15 miles north of downtown Detroit.

Cobb's 47-year-old wife, Rose, was fatally shot Dec. 26 in a parking lot on Detroit's east side. In April, police arrested 27-year-old Vincent Smothers, who told police Cobb hired him to kill his wife.

Smothers claimed Cobb was having an affair and wanted his wife's life insurance money. He is awaiting trial for murder.Cobb was arrested a day after Smothers. He was released after prosecutors said there wasn't enough evidence to charge him.










Detroit Police Sergeant Found Dead In Park
WXYZ News, Chennel 7 News Detroit
Last Update: 3:13 pm
http://www.wxyz.com/news/story.aspx?content_id=1a25a70f-3790-4025-a8f7-8bf4c3f85286

A Detroit police sergeant whose wife was shot to death in a suspected contract killing has been found hanged in a Sterling Heights park.

Police tell the Detroit Free Press that 38-year-old Sgt. David Cobb was found dead Friday night in the city 15 miles north of downtown Detroit.

Cobb's 47-year-old wife Rose was fatally shot Dec. 26 as she sat in the parking lot of a drug store on Detroit's east side. Police in April arrested 27-year-old Vincent Smothers, who told police Cobb hired him to kill his wife.

Smothers, who awaits trial in the murder, claimed Cobb was having an affair and wanted his wife's life insurance money.Cobb was arrested a day after Smothers, but was released after prosecutors said there wasn't enough evidence to charge him.---










BRIEF: Detroit Police sergeant found dead in Sterling Heights park
Sat. September 27, 2008; Posted: 01:07 PM
http://www.tradingmarkets.com/.site/news/Stock%20News/1906270/

Sep 27, 2008 (Detroit Free Press - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- A suspended Detroit police sergeant whose wife was shot to death in December was found dead near a bike path in Dodge Park in Sterling Heights on Friday night.

Sgt. David Cobb, 38, hanged himself, Detroit police spokesman James Tate and Sterling Heights police told the Free Press.

Cobb's wife, Rose Cobb, 47, was fatally shot as she sat in her car in the parking lot of a CVS in the 12000 block of East Jefferson in Detroit the day after Christmas. David Cobb was inside shopping at the time. Vincent Smothers, 27, a confessed hit man, told police Cobb hired him to kill his wife. He claimed Cobb was having an affair and that Cobb wanted his wife's life insurance money.

Smothers was arrested in April and is awaiting trial.

Cobb was arrested a day after Smothers, but Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said there was not enough evidence to charge him, and he was later released.

Cobb was suspended without pay pending the investigation into his wife's slaying, Tate said.

Detroit police sources told the Free Press on Friday night that investigators were making significant progress toward presenting new evidence against Cobb to prosecutors.










Detroit Police Sergeant Found Hanged in Park
WWMT, Kalamazoo Channel 3
September 27, 2008 - 11:10AM
http://www.wwmt.com/news/cobb_1353896___article.html/police_detroit.html

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. (AP) - A Detroit police sergeant whose wife was shot to death in a suspected contract killing has been found hanged in a Sterling Heights park.

Police tell the Detroit Free Press that 38-year-old Sgt. David Cobb was found dead Friday night in the city 15 miles north of downtown Detroit.

Cobb's 47-year-old wife Rose was fatally shot Dec. 26 as she sat in the parking lot of a drug store on Detroit's east side. Police in April arrested 27-year-old Vincent Smothers, who told police Cobb hired him to kill his wife.

Smothers, who awaits trial in the murder, claimed Cobb was having an affair and wanted his wife's life insurance money.

Cobb was arrested a day after Smothers, but was released after prosecutors said there wasn't enough evidence to charge him.










Officer's Wife Slain
Posted: 9:28 AM Sep 27, 2008
Last Updated: 9:28 AM Sep 27, 2008
Reporter: Associated Press
Email Address: news@wctv.tv
WCTV News, Tallahassee FL
STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. (AP)

A Detroit police sergeant whose wife was shot to death in a suspected contract killing has been found hanged in a suburban park.

Police tell the Detroit Free Press that 38-year-old Sgt. David Cobb was found dead Friday night in Sterling Heights, a city 15 miles north of downtown Detroit.

Cobb's 47-year-old wife, Rose, was fatally shot Dec. 26 in a parking lot on Detroit's east side. In April, police arrested 27-year-old Vincent Smothers, who told police Cobb hired him to kill his wife.

Smothers claimed Cobb was having an affair and wanted his wife's life insurance money. He is awaiting trial for murder.Cobb was arrested a day after Smothers. He was released after prosecutors said there wasn't enough evidence to charge him.











Detroit Police sergeant found dead in Sterling Heights park
BY BEN SCHMITT AND SUZETTE HACKNEY
Detroit Free Press
SEPTEMBER 26, 2008
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080926/NEWS01/80926109

A suspended Detroit Police sergeant whose wife was shot to death in a CVS parking lot was found dead near a bike path in Dodge Park in Sterling Heights tonight.

Sgt. David Cobb, 38, hanged himself, Sterling Heights Police and Detroit Police spokesman James Tate told the Free Press.

Cobb’s wife, Rose Cobb, 47, was fatally shot as she sat in the parking lot of a CVS in the 12000 block of East Jefferson in Detroit the day after Christmas. Cobb was inside shopping at the time. Vincent Smothers, 27, a confessed hit man, told police David Cobb hired him to kill his wife. Smothers is awaiting trial in the murder.

Rose Cobb’s slaying went unsolved for months, until Smothers was arrested in April and confessed to being hired by David Cobb.

Smothers claimed Cobb was having an affair and Cobb wanted his wife’s life insurance money.

David Cobb was arrested a day after Smothers, but Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said there was not enough evidence to charge him and he was later released.

Cobb was suspended without pay pending the ongoing investigation into his wife’s killing, Tate said.

Detroit police sources told the Free Press tonight that investigators were making significant progress toward presenting new evidence against Cobb to Wayne County prosecutors.







Detroit Police Officer David Cobb, who had hired a hitman to kill his wife Rose Cobb, was found hanged September 26, 2008.











Cop: Bosses skittish over mayor probe
Investigator suing city says he had to hand over report about alleged link to Ky. drug dealer.
The Detroit News
George Hunter ghunter@detnews.com
Friday, August 15, 2008

DETROIT -- Investigator Ira Todd said he doesn't know whether reports of Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's connection to a reputed Kentucky drug dealer are true, but he said the way his supervisors at the Detroit Police Department stymied his investigation into the claim is suspicious.

"From a cop's perspective, if someone tries to keep you from looking at something, that means there may be something they're trying to hide," said Todd, a veteran detective who claims he was demoted to desk duty for investigating alleged ties between Kilpatrick and a reputed cocaine dealer and associate of a hit man. "Otherwise, why not just allow the investigation to let the truth come out?"

Todd's attorney, Mike Stefani, filed a whistle-blower lawsuit on Todd's behalf last month, claiming Todd was transferred to a desk job in May because he was looking into the matter.

During a 90-minute interview Thursday in Stefani's Royal Oak office, Todd, 50, claimed his supervisors pressured him to turn over a written report documenting his investigation into hit man Vincent Smothers, who told police he was responsible for 10 murders, including the 2007 fatal shooting of Rose Cobb, the wife of Detroit Police Sgt. David Cobb.

Todd's report also included a reputed Lexington, Ky., police officer's claim that a suspected drug dealer bragged about a personal and business relationship with Kilpatrick.

Todd said he found out while investigating Smothers that a man named Ernest Davis, 26, who goes by the street name "Nemo," helped Smothers commit some of the murders.

"We found out Smothers and Nemo would go down to Lexington, Ky., to lay low after they did a hit job," Todd said.

The two would hide out at the home of Davis' brother, James Davis, Todd said.

"I called down to Kentucky and they knew of James Davis right away," Todd said. "They told me, 'Be careful; he brags about being close friends with your mayor, and that Kilpatrick basically gave him the keys to the city.'

"What concerned me was this was a veteran law enforcement officer telling me this. They seemed really concerned about me; they kept saying, 'Be careful.'"

Kilpatrick spokesman James Canning did not return phone calls, nor did Detroit Police officials.

The Lexington police supervisor put Todd in touch with an internal affairs officer, Todd said.

"He told me the same thing: He said, 'Be careful; Davis surrounds himself with police officers and is well-insulated.'"

Todd said he reported to his supervisors what investigators in Kentucky told him about the mayor. "Then things got really weird," he said.

Cmdr. James Tolbert and Deputy Chief Marshall Lyons demanded Todd turn over any reports he'd written about James Davis' claim of ties to Kilpatrick, Todd said.

"The pressure they were putting on me is hard to describe," said Todd, who is on sick leave because he said the pressure he was put under caused him to become physically ill.

Smothers was arrested the morning of April 19 at his Shelby Township home. Todd said he was interrogating him at police headquarters when Tolbert interrupted the interview.

"I've never had that happen; you never want to stop someone when they're in the middle of a confession because they might change their mind," Todd said. "(Tolbert) wanted to know what Smothers was telling me. He seemed like he was afraid of what Smothers was going to say to me."

Todd said Tolbert then told him which questions he could ask Smothers.

"I got upset," Todd said. "It didn't make any sense. All the guys on the task force had worked so hard on this case, and the supervisors were interfering."

Then, after Smothers confessed that Cobb had promised him $10,000 to kill his wife, Todd said investigators were pressured by top police officials to arrest Cobb.

"The Prosecutor's Office told Tolbert, 'You don't have enough evidence to arrest Cobb.' We all wanted to wait, but Tolbert told us to arrest Cobb. We were all wondering why. We were bummed out."

Later, during a conference call with Todd, his supervisors, and Lexington police, Todd said he was "totally embarrassed. They kept dancing around the Kwame stuff, like they didn't want to talk about it."

Todd said he was ordered by his immediate supervisor, Lt. Harold Rochon, to take his vacation a week early.

"He kept saying, 'This thing is bigger than you. Trust me, take your vacation.'"

When Todd returned, he was transferred to the Northwest District. Supervisors told Todd that he hadn't properly documented his work in the case.

Last fall, a Wayne County jury agreed with Stefani that Kilpatrick had punished two officers investigating mayoral wrongdoing. That lawsuit, along with a whistle-blower settlement, led to an $8.4 million settlement.

Stefani said there may not be any merit to James Davis' claim of a relationship with Kilpatrick -- "but (Todd) never got the chance to prove whether it was true or not," he said. "It's like the line from Shakespeare: Methinks they doth protest too much."

Todd said the atmosphere in the Police Department changed when Kilpatrick took over as mayor.

"When (Dennis) Archer or Coleman Young were mayor, this would have never happened," he said. "But this administration is different. I don't know what the mayor has on the supervisors, but they're scared to death of him. I've never seen anything like it. You find yourself whispering about Kwame Kilpatrick; you're afraid to say anything out loud."











Alleged hit man will face trial in 3 killings
Shelby Twp. resident says he's a hit man

BY BEN SCHMITT and SUZETTE HACKNEY
Detroit Free Press
May 20, 2008
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080520/NEWS01/805200379

After listening to the statements of an alleged hit man in court Monday, relatives of Rose Cobb said they felt grateful that he showed remorse and owned up to her slaying.

Cobb, the 47-year-old wife of Detroit police Sgt. David Cobb, was fatally shot Dec. 26 while parked in the family minivan at a CVS.

The man accused in her slaying, Vincent Smothers, 27, of Shelby Township, told police that David Cobb hired him to kill her.

Smothers appeared in 36th District Court on Monday, where Judge Mark Randon bound him over on charges of first-degree murder in three cases. In addition to Rose Cobb's slaying, Smothers is accused in the fatal shootings of Clarence Cherry, 34, and Gaudrielle Webster, 18, on June 21 on Gravier.

"I'm angry with him, yes," Sheryl Gary, Rose Cobb's sister, said of Smothers after the three-hour hearing. "But I truly appreciate that he had a measure of conscience enough to admit to what he did. If he had not, we would still be in the dark about what happened to Rose."

Marzell Black, 20, of Detroit, who is suspected of setting up the Rose Cobb shooting, also was bound over for trial Monday on a charge of solicitation of murder, a felony punishable by life in prison. He sat next to Smothers during the hearings, but neither man spoke to each other.

Black told police that he met David Cobb through his mother, Sheila Black, and Cobb asked him if he would kill his wife, Detroit police Sgt. Michael Russell testified. Black, in a statement that was read by Russell in court, said he couldn't do the killing, but, "I would holler at one of my guys, V," meaning Smothers.

A few weeks later, Smothers, David Cobb and Black all met and planned the killing, according to Black's statement.

In another statement, Smothers said he worked for drug dealers and said the killing of Cherry on Gravier was a contract hit for $10,000. He said he was disturbed that Lakari Berry, 27, who already is serving life in prison for the killings, shot Webster.

Smothers also said in his statement that was read in court that he became sickened after killing Rose Cobb because he felt she was innocent.

"I couldn't stomach it," he told police.

Gabi Silver, Smothers' lawyer, argued that Detroit police Investigator Ira Todd made false promises to Smothers and accused Todd of telling Smothers that his wife, Cecily Smothers, would not face charges if he cooperated. Todd, who took Smothers' statement, denied making such promises.

Smothers told police he stayed in the suburbs to avoid being solicited for more hits after the Cobb killing. He said he and his wife were living off the $60,000 he collected for various killings.

Smothers has claimed responsibility for at least seven Detroit slayings, city police say.

David Cobb was arrested last month but released without being charged. Rose Cobb's relatives said they hope police will charge Cobb, who was suspended without pay pending an ongoing investigation.

Rose Cobb's 34-year-old niece, Adrian Gary, said she's angry with Smothers: "But not as much as with the others involved. I feel he's remorseful."










Hit man tells how he killed Detroit cop's wife
Two men face murder trial, but husband accused of hiring them hasn't been

Tuesday, May 20, 2008
George Hunter
The Detroit News
http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080520/METRO/805200359/1409/METRO

DETROIT -- Self-professed hit man Vincent Smothers described to police the last horrifying seconds of Rose Cobb's life as she sat in the passenger seat of her minivan in the parking lot of an east side drug store.

"I broke out the window, and demanded her purse. She was screaming," Smothers said in his April 19 confession, which was read aloud Monday by Detroit Police Investigator Ira Todd during Smothers' preliminary hearing in 36th District Court.

"She was afraid. I wanted to take her purse so it wouldn't look like a contract kill, but she was panicking; moving around too much. To keep from any further delay, I shot her in the head," Smothers told police of the Dec. 26 murder. "She fell across the console toward the driver's seat."

Cobb was shot four times in the face at close range.

Smothers, 27, and Marzell Black, 20, the man who allegedly helped set up Rose Cobb's hit, were bound over for trial Monday by 36th District Judge Mark Randon. The two men face a May 27 arraignment in 3rd Circuit Court on first-degree murder charges.

Meanwhile, Detroit Police Sgt. David Cobb, who was arrested April 20 in connection with his wife's slaying and released a day later, is still under investigation by the Police Department's Internal Affairs Unit and the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office.

Although Smothers' confession was enough for the judge to bind the case over, University of Detroit Mercy Law Professor Larry Dubin said it isn't enough to implicate Cobb.

"The only way (Smothers') accusations would stand up is if he were to go into court and offer that statement under oath," Dubin said. "That way, the police officer's attorney would be able to cross-examine him about the allegations. Otherwise, to allow that statement would be a violation of (Cobb's) Sixth Amendment right (which guarantees a defendant the right to confront an accuser)."

Cobb was suspended without pay April 24 for conduct unbecoming an officer, pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation. When he was arrested, police officials said Cobb hired Smothers to kill his wife, and that Black, the son of Cobb's girlfriend, Sheila Black, acted as a go-between in the murder plot and drove the getaway car on the night of the killing.

But Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy's office said there wasn't enough evidence to charge Cobb, and he was released from jail.

Approached at his home last week by Detroit News reporters, Cobb said, "I can't say anything except that there's a side to this that no one in the media has asked me about at all." He declined to elaborate.

Smothers told police that Black introduced him to David Cobb in November 2007. The three men met in a Coney Island restaurant on Gratiot a few weeks before the murder, Smothers told Todd, the investigator.

Cobb told Smothers during that meeting that he should expect to be questioned about the murder, Smothers said.

"He said, 'As long as they don't have the gun, they don't have nothing,' Todd said, quoting from Smothers' statement. "He said Cobb told him five times: " Smothers also told police, "(Cobb) said I 'Make sure you get rid of the gun.' wouldn't get any less time if I said he hired me. And he said (investigators) would play good cop/bad cop to try to confuse me."

Smothers said he had no problem performing hits on drug dealers -- but the Rose Cobb killing was too much for his conscience to take.

When asked how he felt after killing the 47-year-old woman, Smothers told police, "My stomach was in knots. I thought she was innocent."

Smothers said he took on the job because he owed $5,000 to Black. "He was on my back," Smothers said of Black.

Sheryl Gary, Rose Cobb's sister, expressed appreciation for Smothers' confession.

"I'm glad he had the conscience to come forward," she said.

Rose Cobb's niece, Adrian Gary, said she hopes David Cobb "pays for what he did. I hope he gets charged in this, too."

After Smothers was arrested in Shelby Township on April 19, police say he confessed to being a hit man who was responsible for 10 murders. Investigators say Smothers also fingered Cobb, 38, for promising to pay him $10,000 from his wife's $200,000 life insurance policy if he killed her.

Marzell Black also implicated Cobb in the murder for hire, police said.

Earlier Monday, Smothers was bound over by Randon in connection with the June 21, 2007, double slaying of Gaudrielle Webster and Clarence Cherry on the 7000 block of Gravier.

Another woman, who survived being shot during the same incident, provided police with a lead to Smothers' arrest.










Suspects bound over for trial in contract killing of Detroit police officer's wife
MLive
by Jim Irwin The Associated Press
Tuesday May 20, 2008, 8:15 AM
http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2008/05/suspects_bound_over_for_trial.html

DETROIT -- A Detroit man who claims to have killed seven people for hire told authorities that he swore off life as a hit man after ambushing a police officer's wife the day after Christmas.

But nearly five months later, Vincent Smothers is facing first-degree murder charges in the deaths of Rose Cobb and two other people.

District Judge Mark Randon ruled Monday that there was sufficient evidence for Smothers, 27, of Macomb County's Shelby Township, and 20-year-old Marzell Black, of Detroit, to stand trial in Cobb's slaying.

Randon also ordered Smothers tried in the unrelated shooting deaths of two Detroit residents. Police continue investigating four other homicides to which Smothers has confessed.

Detroit police Sgt. David Cobb was arrested on charges of hiring Smothers and another man to kill his wife, but was released two days later after prosecutors said they didn't have enough information to authorize a murder warrant against him.

Portions of statements Smothers and Black gave police after their April arrests were read during Monday's preliminary hearing. Smothers said he received $60,000 for killing a total of seven people between August 2006 and the end of 2007, but stopped after Rose Cobb was slain.

"Cobb's wife was the last one I committed," Smothers's statement said. "Killing a cop's wife was tough. All the other ones were dope killings."

The suspects said in their statements that David Cobb offered them $5,000 each to kill his 47-year-old wife. She was shot in the head four times while waiting in a minivan outside an east side drugstore while her husband shopped inside.

"My stomach was in knots" after fleeing the shooting scene, Smothers said. "I felt like she was innocent."

Smothers is charged with first-degree murder, being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm during a felony in Rose Cobb's death. Black is charged with first-degree murder and solicitation of murder.

Randon also ordered Smothers tried on two counts each first-degree murder and felony murder in the June 21, 2007 deaths of 34-year-old Clarence Cherry and 18-year-old Gaudrielle Webster.

Smothers and Black remained held without bond in the Wayne County Jail after Monday's hearing. First-degree murder is punishable by life in prison with no possibility of parole.


Both men have said they are innocent. Smothers's attorney, Gabi Deborah Silver, said after the hearing that she would continue challenging the circumstances under which police obtained the suspects' statements.












OFFICER'S WIFE SLAIN
Suspects bound over for trial in contract killing

ABC NEWS
State news rundown
May 20, 2008 4:29 AM 2008
http://abclocal.go.com/wjrt/story?section=news/state&id=6153297

DETROIT (AP) - A Detroit judge says there's enough evidence for two men to be tried in the contract killing of a police officer'swife.

Vincent Smothers of Macomb County's Shelby Township also was ordered tried in the unrelated shooting deaths of two Detroit residents.

The 27-year-old Smothers and 20-year-old Marzell Black, of Detroit, are charged in the Dec. 26 death of Rose Cobb, who was shot in the head four times outside a drugstore.

Lawyers for both suspects say their clients are innocent.

Detroit police Sgt. David Cobb was arrested April 20 on suspicion of arranging his wife's death. He was released two days later after prosecutors said they didn't have enough information to authorize a murder warrant against him.









Detroit man allegedly confesses to double life as hit man
Posted 5/18/2008 10:06 AM
By Suzette Hackney and Ben Schmitt
Detroit Free Press
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-05-18-detroit-killings_N.htm



Vincent Smothers, 27, attends his arraignment in district court in Detroit on April 21.

Vincent Smothers wears death all over his body.

The self-professed hit man is tattooed on his arms, back, legs and chest — permanent reminders of friends and loved ones who died before him. The names, tombstones and dates of their deaths are impressively etched on his 6-foot-1 lanky frame. The most prominent RIP tattoo is dedicated to Keilea, his 15-year-old sister who died in 1998.

Smothers, 27, says he's no stranger to death. He told police that he stealthily freelanced seven slayings on Detroit's poverty-stricken east side from 2006 to the end of last year.

He said he mostly killed drug dealers who either owed a debt, stole the merchandise or had infringed on someone else's turf. But he also has confessed to killing two men who were targeted as federal informants and a Detroit police sergeant's wife.

"He's not a monster. He's a human," said Smothers' uncle, Simon Smothers. "If he did it, he has to pay for it. I still can't believe it, but they say he confessed. If he did it, I can't make any excuses for him."

In his confession, Smothers told police that he wasn't remorseful until he killed the sergeant's wife.

The total take for seven hits: $60,000.

For the occasion, he donned suits, ties and sunglasses, and usually carried at least two guns — an AK47 and a .40-caliber pistol — for efficiency. He said he practiced shooting at a gun range between jobs.

After high school, Smothers told police he began stealing cars, dabbling in the drug world and robbing dope houses before graduating to contract killings in 2006 for one motivation: money.

He said he was paid between $5,000 and $15,000 by those who desperately needed an enemy to disappear.

By many accounts, Smothers is a soft-spoken and charming man with a handsome smile and a polished persona — certainly not a man who embodied a murder-for-hire existence.

Family members say he was traumatized after his sister, Keilea, was killed while caught in the cross fire of a neighborhood dispute involving a gunman and one of her other brothers. Smothers never sought counseling and remained forever saddened and scarred, they said. Over the years, his overwhelming grief may have turned into rage.

"I think he started to hate the world after Keilea was killed," his uncle said.

A double life

After his April 19 arrest, Smothers described to police the two lives he led: one with his wife and newborn daughter in a tidy townhouse complex in Shelby Township, where he would walk his beloved poodle and politely speak to neighbors; the other as a man who matter-of-factly detailed his deadly trail for police.

Smothers said he walked up to 47-year-old Rose Cobb as she sat in a vehicle in a CVS parking lot on the day after Christmas and delivered two to three fatal shots to her face and head as her husband, Sgt. David Cobb, shopped inside.

Smothers is expected to appear in 36th District Court on Monday for a preliminary examination in connection with three of the killings, including Rose Cobb's.

The Cobb case remained a whodunit until last month, when Smothers was arrested in front of his sleepy suburban townhouse and subsequently confessed to the killing.

Police were led to Smothers by a suspect in an unrelated drug case who ran in circles similar to Smothers'.

Once in custody, Smothers told police that he was hired by David Cobb to kill his wife, in part because he was having an affair and in part because Cobb wanted his wife's life insurance money.

Cobb, 37, was arrested a day later at his east-side Detroit home, a mile from where his wife was killed. He was set free two days later after Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said there was not enough evidence to charge him. Cobb remains free and said through his attorney that he never has met Smothers.

Smothers told police the Rose Cobb hit is the one that now causes him to lose sleep and see the faces of all his victims. His last killing, he said, was different.

"My stomach was in knots. I felt like she was innocent," he said in a confession seen by the Free Press. "After Cobb's wife, I could no longer have anything to do with murdering people."

His first kill
Smothers said his first kill occurred on Aug. 16, 2006, in front of a reputed drug house on Strasburg near Gratiot.

He was hired to kill two brothers, but only one was there at the time. Adrian Thornton, 27, was killed by gunshot wounds to the head, chest and legs. Another 28-year-old man suffered a gunshot wound to the left side of the head, but survived.
Weathered teddy bears mark the grassy spot across the street where Thornton collapsed on his back after running from the house.

But Smothers did not forget the other half of his assignment.

Waiting about five months to the day, Smothers said he returned to the Strasburg neighborhood on Jan. 17, 2007, to gun down Carl Thornton, 29. Neighbors said Smothers laid in wait in an abandoned house and ambushed Thornton and a 22-year-old woman, who was shot in the buttocks but survived. Neighbor Nancy Jenkins, 58, said she hit the floor and called 911 when the shooting started. She said she peeked out her window and saw Thornton lying facedown on his front porch, and a woman bleeding and crawling toward her house.

"They sounded like automatic cannons," Jenkins recalled of the gunshots.

Jenkins said she knew the Thornton brothers as neighbors — they spoke to her, and Carl Thornton even purchased perfumed oils from her.

She said she often encouraged them to clean up their lifestyles. She said residents of the drug-ridden, downtrodden neighborhood where she has lived for 20 years buzzed about the killings.

"I heard it was a hit — that they had stole something from a drug man," she said.
Earlier years

Smothers comes from a family of eight siblings. He grew up on Detroit's east side with a disciplinarian father who worked for Chrysler and became self-employed in construction after a workplace injury.

Smothers, a Kettering High School graduate, spoke lovingly to police about his dad, Willie Smothers, even as he recounted times when they were harshly punished for lying or smoking.

His uncle, Simon Smothers, 60, said he remembered the children intently working for their father on projects that ranged from roofing to auto repairs. They reminded him of a human assembly line, he said.

Willie Smothers died of cancer the day after Christmas in 1998, a little more than eight months after Smothers' sister suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the abdomen.

A key time

That time would prove to be pivotal in Smothers' life. Months later, he would experience his first recorded encounter with the law.

In June 1999, Smothers was caught in Madison Heights in a stolen car and operating a motor vehicle while his license was suspended. He was placed on 18 months of probation.

While working for a metal shop in Warren in January 2000, Smothers was arrested in Oak Park for driving a stolen car with an altered VIN number. Police found a 9mm pistol in the backseat.

He pleaded guilty to receiving and concealing stolen property, felony firearm possession and concealing or misrepresenting identification with intent to mislead police. He was sentenced to 334 days in jail. Because of various parole violations, Smothers floated in and out of jail until 2003.

Gerald Tabbs, who was married to Smothers' mother from 2000 until last year, said he did not know Smothers well. They had a distant stepfather-stepson relationship, but he was always polite — even when emotions ran high. Tabbs said some of his ex-wife's children thought that she had remarried too soon.

Smothers' mother, Mary Tabbs, 57, works as a home health care aide and lives in Harper Woods. She declined to comment for this article. "She's very defensive of the children. She's always been like that," Gerald Tabbs said.

Tabbs said Smothers once warned him to never hit his mother and helped move her from Tabbs' west-side home when the marriage ended.

Tabbs said he never abused his wife but said she spoke of prior abuse from her first husband.

Tabbs said three hulking Wayne County sheriff's deputies came to his door looking for Smothers in February, but he told them Smothers had never lived there and his mother no longer did.

Police, including federal agents, had been trying to locate and arrest Smothers for one of the incidents but were unaware of his connection to additional killings until he confessed.

"They told me it was something minor, but I knew it was something more than that," Tabbs said of the deputies.

Other confessed killings
Police say Smothers told them he was hired to kill Marshall White Jr., 56, and Johnny Marshall, 64, because they were believed to be federal informants. The men were found dead about noon May 24, 2007, at Jos. Campau and the I-94 eastbound service drive.

Police found the car with the hood up. White was shot in the head outside the car, and Marshall was in the passenger seat with a gunshot to the face.

A federal source who requested anonymity said the case is under investigation. Smothers has not been charged in those killings.

But he is charged with two counts of first-degree murder for the June 21, 2007, fatal shootings of Clarence Cherry, 34, and Gaudrielle Webster, 18. Cherry was struck 20 times in the head, abdomen, leg, arm and chest. Another woman, Karsia Rice, 18, survived the attack on Gravier, off Cadieux near Mack.

Smothers' accomplice, Lakari Berry, 27, was arrested shortly after the shootout and is serving life in prison with no chance of parole for the killings. Smothers confessed to police that he was the other shooter.

Webster and Rice were inside the east-side apartment when Berry and Smothers stormed in and demanded to know where the money was. Two children played on the living room floor while the women begged for their lives.

Rice recalled the horror in 36th District Court last year during a preliminary examination for Berry.

"He is still pointing the gun at me," Rice said in describing a tall man in a suit, tie and sunglasses. "At this time, I got the baby in my arm. ... He is still pointing the gun at us. He had locked the door already."

The men ransacked the apartment, seemingly searching for drugs and money, before dragging the women to a back bedroom, binding their hands and feet and covering their eyes with duct tape.

They then demanded that Webster call her boyfriend, Cherry, to the apartment. She feigned car trouble to lure him there.

Rice was shot in the head and went stumbling from the apartment as gunfire continued to erupt.

Smothers told police he fled to Kentucky to hide out after the shooting. Berry, who didn't flip on Smothers and is appealing his conviction, was quickly arrested after a witness identified his license plate.

"I don't know why I got shot," Rice testified during the July 17, 2007, exam. "Still to this day, I don't know why I am blind in my right eye."

Police found Cherry's body in the complex's courtyard with more than $3,000 in cash still in his pocket.

The final hit

Smothers was upset with his accomplice, Berry, after the shootings, because he did not want to harm women, he told police.

But it was the final hit that Smothers said sent him reeling.

Rose Cobb cried out that December night in the CVS parking lot as Smothers said he used a tire iron to smash the window of her Dodge Caravan. She tried climbing to the backseat, clutching her purse, he told police, as he opened fire, striking her several times in the head.

"She was screaming," he said. "No words. Just screaming."

He fled after failing to reach the purse, he said, thereby foiling his plan to make the killing look like an armed robbery.

"Prior to Cobb's wife, it wasn't as tough," Smothers told police when asked how it felt to be a hit man. "The rest were dope dealers."

Smothers said Rose Cobb's husband told him to wear gloves and supplied him with cut-off shirt sleeves to protect his arms from gunshot residue.

Smothers said David Cobb told him how to handle good-cop, bad-cop interrogation and ordered him to get rid of the gun.

When it came time to collect for the hit, Smothers told police that he only got $50 of the $10,000 they had agreed upon. Cobb promised he would pay the rest later to avoid suspicion, Smothers said.

Smothers told police that he met Cobb through Marzell Black, the 20-year-old son of Cobb's mistress. Smothers said Marzell Black set up the deal and drove the getaway car.

Black, who was promised $5,000 of the hit money, is charged with solicitation of murder and also faces a preliminary examination Monday.

Family life
Smothers' Shelby Township townhouse has two plastic chairs in front on a 4-by-6 concrete patio. There are two tiki torches, a small grill and a bag of charcoal.

There's also a pink foldout chair for a small child and a pink cardboard sign in the shape of a baby rattle hanging from the screen door. It reads: "Baby Girl."

He was raising a newborn daughter with his wife, Cecily Smothers, and a 3-year-old girl that his wife had from a prior relationship when he was arrested.

"Whenever we see him on the news we say, 'Wow — it can't be,' " said Ron Flowers, a neighbor. "I would see him walking his dog. He was nice. Real polite. I waved to him. He waved back. His dog might get loose and run over to me. I'd pet the dog. He'd laugh and call the dog back."

Cecily Smothers declined to comment for this article.

Police say Vincent Smothers has been extremely cooperative and is concerned about the well-being of his family.

His attorney, Gabi Silver, said safety issues for his loved ones are obvious.
"I think he cares very, very much for her and the children," Silver said of his wife. "I think that's truly his main focus right now."

Silver declined to discuss details of the allegations against her client because she said she does not have a full picture of the case yet. She said he is pleasant to work with and described him as "a very mild-mannered, well-spoken guy."

Meanwhile, Smothers has told police he is prepared to take full responsibility for his actions.

"I knew at the time these crimes were committed they were wrong and that there would be a price to pay," he wrote as a final statement on his confession. "I can't bring them back but I hope this allows there (sic) families to know that someone is going to pay behind what happened to there loves (sic) ones."











Detroit cop living amid suspicion
Detroit News
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Laura Berman
http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080517/OPINION03/805170309/1409/METRO

From once-dead land east of Belle Isle, a subdivision blooms -- a mini-Detroit oasis of brick-and-siding colonials with neatly clipped yards and attached garages. This is where Detroit Police Sgt. David Cobb lives.

He also lives in purgatory.

In the four weeks since Cobb was released from police custody, he's been free of everything but suspicion. His wife, Rose Cobb, was shot and killed in a CVS drugstore parking lot on the day after Christmas. She was sitting in her minivan when a man pressed a gun to the window and fired. Her husband, police say, was in the store at the time.


For now, the widower Cobb, suspended without pay, released from a 48-hour interrogation without charges being filed, comes and goes.

"No, I can't say anything," he says. "I can't say anything except that there's a side to this that no one in the media has asked me about at all."

He's in his garage, and gets into his Nissan 350Z, and drives off.

And his neighbors, whose new homes and shiny late-model Jaguars and Escalades attest to their achievements and aspirations, live in a purgatory of their own.

"People go to work, people come home. You don't really get to know your neighbors here. And I've lived here such a short time. I've only lived here for a year," says Ervin Davis, who lives next door to the police sergeant, explaining why he doesn't know Cobb and never sees him.
Although Cobb is free, two other men are behind bars, linked to the killing of Rose Cobb. One is Vincent Smothers, the hard-eyed, self-described hit man who told police that Cobb promised him $10,000 to kill his wife. Although Rose Cobb died, the life insurance company declined to pay, leaving the hit man without his fee.

Is it unnerving to live so close to so many suspicions?

Could you avoid the vague fear of more violence being unleashed, given the continued presence of a man who has been accused of so much and charged with nothing?
One of the neighbors, a retired General Motors supervisor, acknowledges her shock and concern.
But she doesn't want to accuse her neighbor unfairly. If he did order his wife's execution, he doesn't belong in his house, free to come and go.

"If he didn't, well, I just don't know. They seemed like nice people. He seems nice. But anyone can seem nice."


This is a middle-class neighborhood, where a community of homes is being built on a large tract of cleared land, around the block from a retail strip center that includes a boarded-up Farmer Jack. The houses sell for $204,000 to $300,000, with fireplaces and kitchen islands, and model names like "The Savannah" or "The Wellington."

For weeks, the neighbors have lived with these feelings, on this street where hope and fear mingle.












Marzell Black and Vincent Smothers












Marzell Black












Vincent Smothers










Court hearing delayed in case of alleged hit man
George Hunter
The Detroit News
Thursday, May 1, 2008
http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080501/METRO/805010467/1409/METRO

DETROIT -- The preliminary examination of alleged hit man Vincent Smothers and the man police say helped set up the hit, Marzell Black, was postponed Thursday to allow defense attorneys to gather information in the case.

Assistant prosecutor Elizabeth Walker agreed to the postponement.

The examination was re-scheduled for May 19.

Smothers and Black allegedly were involved in the Dec. 26 murder of Rose Cobb, wife of Detroit Police Sgt. David Cobb. Sgt. Cobb was arrested last month in connection with his wife's murder, and police said he promised Smothers $10,000 to kill her.

But Cobb was released from jail after Wayne County prosecutors said there was not enough evidence to charge him.

Cobb was suspended without pay last week, pending an internal affairs investigation.










Slain woman's kin seek answers
Niece of Detroit Police sergeant's widow calls his release in murder case 'disheartening.'

Mark Hicks / The Detroit News
Thursday, April 24, 2008
http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080424/METRO01/804240418/1006/rss01



Sheryl Gary of Detroit, with daughter Elizabeth Haywood, said Wednesday she is baffled by the murder of her sister, Rose Cobb. (Ricardo Thomas / The Detroit News)


DETROIT -- A day after arrests were made in connection with Rose Cobb's death, her relatives are seeking answers and speaking out.

"Why this happened, we don't know," said her sister, Sheryl Gary, during a press conference late Wednesday at a home on the city's east side.

Self-described hit man Vincent Smothers, 27, and Marzell Black, 20, were arraigned Tuesday in 36th District Court on charges of first-degree premeditated murder in connection with the Dec. 26, 2007, death of Cobb.

Detroit Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings on Monday said Smothers told investigators how he shot the 47-year-old woman in the head while she waited in her car in the parking lot of a CVS store while her husband , Detroit Police Sgt. David Cobb, shopped inside.

A Detroit police investigator's report in the court file Tuesday said David Cobb, 38, was having an affair with Marzell Black's mother, Sheila Black. She is expected to testify that Cobb wanted to have his wife killed, the report said.

Cobb was arrested early Sunday at his east side Detroit home. Police said Smothers and Black fingered Cobb for promising to pay him $10,000 from his wife's $200,000 life insurance policy, but Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said there wasn't enough evidence to charge Cobb.

"The only evidence that was presented to us that connects Sgt. Cobb with this murder are the statements of defendants Smothers and Black," Worthy said in a statement.

"Under the law, Smothers and Black cannot be compelled to testify; there is no admissible evidence upon which to charge him at this time."

The release was "disheartening," said Taneeka Gary, Rose Cobb's niece, "but we understand everything has to take its course."

Reached late Wednesday, Elbert Hatchett, an attorney for David Cobb, declined to comment beyond saying that Cobb remains suspended with pay from the police department.

Rose Cobb's family members said they were unaware of problems in her marriage, and did not initially believe her husband would harm her.

"If there were any problems, we didn't hear about it," Sheryl Gary said.

Meanwhile, relatives continue mourning the loss of a woman they say earned a master's degree and worked to help needy families.

"She was beautiful," said her nephew, Aaron Gary. "It's horrible my aunt is gone."










Detroit police officer suspended without pay as wife's death probed
George Hunter 
The Detroit News
Thursday, April 24, 2008
http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080424/METRO/804240496

DETROIT -- A Detroit police sergeant who police investigators claim hired a hit man to kill his wife was suspended without pay Thursday.

Detroit Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings requested the Board of Commissioners suspend Sgt. David Cobb without pay, after Cobb was arrested Sunday for conduct unbecoming an officer; and for his alleged connection with the Dec. 26, 2007, shooting death of his wife in the parking lot of a CVS drug store.

Bully-Cummings was not at Thursday's Board of Commissioner's meeting; Assistant Chief Ralph Godbee attended in her place. The chief's request of a suspension without pay was read aloud during the meeting.

Cobb was released from jail Tuesday after Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy determined there was not enough evidence to charge him with a crime. But the Detroit Police Internal Affairs Section is investigating Cobb's alleged role in his wife's murder, city attorney Letitia Jones said. Cobb was not present.

Fred Walker, an attorney for the Lieutenants and Sergeant's Association, argued on Cobb's behalf. Walker said Cobb should receive his paycheck during the suspension, because he has not been formally charged with any crime.

"Under the circumstances, a suspension is warranted," Walker said. "But the issue is whether he should suspend him with or without pay. We're asking that you do it with pay."

Walker also said Cobb made a statement to police after his arrest without a lawyer present. He did not elaborate, although he said Cobb's Miranda Rights were violated.

Cobb was arrested at his east side home Sunday morning after Vincent Smothers, who investigators say is a hit man responsible for seven murders, confessed to killing Cobb's wife, Rose. Cobb allegedly promised to pay Smothers $10,000 of his wife's life insurance policy after the hit was carried out, police investigators said.

Smothers was arrested Saturday night while visiting a friend in Shelby Township.

Smothers and his alleged accomplice, Marzell Black, were charged Tuesday with first-degree murder. Black also as charged with solicitation of murder. They were denied bond, and are incarcerated in the Wayne County Jail.

Police say David Cobb was dating Marzell Black's mother, Sheila Black.










APRIL 24, 2008: Detroit Police Officer David Cobb's unpaid suspension following his arrest for the murder of his wife, Rose.

BOARD OF POLICE COMMISSIONERS
Minutes of the Regular Board of Police Commissioners Meeting

Thursday, April 24, 2008
The meeting of the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners was held on Thursday, April 24, 2008, at 3:00 p.m., at Police Headquarters, 1300 Beaubien, Detroit, Michigan 48226.


4. BOPC OFFICER’S REPORT
1. CHAIRPERSON
2. SECRETARY REPORT
SUSPENSION WITHOUT PAY OF SERGEANT DAVID COBB, BADGE S-616, ASSIGNED TO EASTERN DISTRICT
On April 20, 2008, Internal Affairs was directed to respond to Southwestern District, Schaefer Station, regarding the arrest of Sergeant David Cobb, badge S-616, assigned to Eastern District for the murder of his wife, Mrs. Rose Cobb, B/F/47 that occurred on December 26, 2007, at approximately 9:00 p.m., at the CVS Pharmacy located at 12907 E. Jefferson, Detroit, Michigan.
On April 20, 2008, a member of Violent Crimes Task Force, was interviewing Mr. Vincent Smothers, B/M/27, of 46675 Jonathan Circle, Shelby Township, Michigan on an unrelated case. Mr. Smothers alleged to have knowledge and involvement with the death of Mrs. Cobb. Additionally, Mr. Smothers implicated Sergeant Cobb in the commission of the crime.
He stated that he received a telephone call from a friend, Mr. Marzell Black, whom he owed money. Mr. Black offered him a way to repay his debt stating that Sergeant Cobb, who was having an affair with his mother, wanted someone to carry out a murder.
In early December 2007, Mr. Smothers met with Mr. Black and Sergeant Cobb at a Coney Island restaurant located on Gratiot Avenue near Houston Whittier.
Sergeant Cobb went over a plan to have his wife killed. Sergeant Cobb wantedthe murder to be committed in early January 2008.
At the next meeting, Sergeant Cobb informed Mr. Smothers that he wanted the date moved up by a week. It was at this meeting that Sergeant Cobb advised Mr. Smothers and Mr. Black that he would pay them $5,000.00 each, a month after the murder.
At the third and final meeting Sergeant Cobb showed Mr. Smothers how to wear gloves and arm sleeves to prevent any Gunshot Residue from getting onto his hands. Sergeant Cobb also stressed to Mr. Smothers the importance of getting rid of the weapon. Sergeant Cobb advised Mr. Smothers and Mr. Black that the signal to carry out the murder would be a call to Mr. Black’s cellular telephone.
According to Mr. Smothers, on the day of the killing, Sergeant Cobb telephoned his wife and asked her to go to the store with him. Mr. Smothers and Mr. Black drove to the CVS Pharmacy, in a black Jeep Commander, and waited for Sergeant Cobb and his wife to arrive. Upon their arrival, Mr. Smothers observed Mrs. Cobb seated in the passenger seat of the vehicle as he drove past. Sergeant Cobb exited the vehicle and gave a slight nod to Mr. Smothers before he entered the store.
Mr. Smothers drove down the street, exited his vehicle and Mr. Black got into the driver’s seat. Mr. Smothers then walked back to the store, broke out the passenger window of the Cobb’s mini-van, pointed a gun at Mrs. Cobb and demanded her purse. Mrs. Cobb began to scream and move around in the vehicle and he shot her two (2) or three (3) times in the head.
As a direct result of this interview, Sergeant Cobb was arrested at his home.
On this same date, a member of Homicide advised Sergeant Cobb of his constitutional rights (Miranda) and he agreed to answer questions related to the murder of his wife. Sergeant Cobb admitted to knowing Mr. Black and to having an affair with his mother. Additionally, after viewing a photograph of Mr. Smothers, Sergeant Cobb admitted that there was a chance he knew Mr. Smothers.
On April 20, 2008, Lieutenant Pastella B. Williams, badge L-111, assigned to the Eastern District, suspended Sergeant Cobb.
Based on the above circumstances, it is recommended that Sergeant Cobb be charged with, but not limited to, the following violation of the Detroit Police Department Rules and Regulations:

CHARGE: CONDUCT UNBECOMING AN OFFICER, CONTRARY TO THE LAW ENFORCEMENT CODE OF ETHICS; THIS BEING IN VIOLATION OF THE DETROIT POLICE DEPARTMENT MANUAL SERIES 100, DIRECTIVE 102.3 – 7.9, CONDUCT
UNPROFESSIONAL, COMMAND 1.

Atty. Hooks stated we have Atty. Walker here on behalf of Sgt. Cobb and Atty. Jones on behalf of the police department.

Atty. Walker stated he is here on behalf of the Lieutenants and Sergeants Association for Sgt. Cobb. I submit to you that the issue for your decision is not a suspension but rather with or without pay. As you know, Sgt. Cobb has not been charged with any crime. No warrant was denied for Sgt. Cobb, no warrant was ever presented by the prosecutor’s office concerning Mr. Cobb. That has never occurred.
The union understands the seriousness of the allegations are of course gray.
The seriousness of those allegations has to be tethered to some standard of proof. This is what counsel has presented from the department through a petition to the Board. It is entirely hearsay and is triple hearsay from two people, or one at least one who has been alleged to have committed a murder. He is facing those charges unlike Sgt. Cobb who has no charges of any kind.
Apparently Sgt. Cobb made a statement under Miranda to the department upon his arrest without a lawyer. He is put in an unmanageable position, what more can we do on that to defend himself to you at this time. So if the department was to turn around and seek a warrant and obtain a warrant, then the department can always turn around that very day or before a week and come back before you and request a suspension with pay be converted to a suspension without pay.
The essence of the issue is a little more distinct than I say, and I submit to you, it is in the department’s manual at 102.4-2.1, and what it says is, “Suspensions prior to disciplinary action are strictly for the purpose of preservation of order or efficiency of the department, and are not considered, nor are they to be used, as an instrument of discipline.”
Well, if you ever speak to someone who has been suspended without pay and an ability to defend themselves at an actual hearing where evidence is presented, it’s always going to seem to that person, or a reasonable person in his shoes, that he was being disciplined without any kind of
a hearing. So, then the question becomes how is the order of the efficiency of the department made greater by suspending him without pay as opposed to with pay.
I submit to you that there’s no greater order of efficiency in the department if you take that action. It’s simply punishing him with literally no legal admissible evidence whatsoever against him. In addition to that, not only that, but if we were to suspend him without pay, there’s not going to be a hearing. Picture what that hearing would be like; we are going to have a Trial Board, who is the department going to present as a witness at their Trial Board while there are first degree murder charges pending.
All we ask is that you give him the due process of any member of the department, when allegations are made against him regardless of how serious they are. The seriousness of the allegations in and of themselves should not be sufficient to punish him without pay. We are asking that you consider a do so with pay at this time, pending any farther developments.

Comm. Okdie stated one of the things that always seems to come up before us when we have these kind of issues, is the notion of whether or not a warrant has been issued, or someone has been arrested etc., etc., and etc.
One of the things that I always have problems with is the notion that, not problems with...We always seem to get mired in the notion of whether or not we need to take in certain elements of civil court. This is not a court of jurisprudence and consequently the consideration of warrants, consideration of the arrest, the consideration of cross-examining witnesses, etc., etc., and etc. I really don’t consider that. But one thing that you did say which I think does have some consideration is the item that you pointed out I did not write down the item that you had pointed to in the manual. What I’d like for you to do, if you don’t mind, is if you could just go over that one more time, and please be just a little more explicit without being technical.

Atty. Walker stated I will read the entire paragraph which is slightly larger than I read before. It is in the manual, cited as 102.4-2 and that is sub-head “Suspension with pay” and below that is says the authority to suspend.

Comm. Okdie stated it is speaking to our authority or the authority of the Chief.

Atty. Walker stated well the Chief or any member ranking or supervisor member of the department has the authority, if in their judgment to suspend somebody without out pay immediately, then they have to immediately come before you in order to have that go forward.
I have to concede to you that I see the AC shaking his head, no. I know that he knows it inside and out. I guess we have a little bit of a difference there. But, I would submit at this point that the decision is for you to make.
Let me just read this part, “When deemed necessary for the preservation of order or efficiency, a supervisory officer may suspend any subordinate from duty prior to disciplinary action or Trial Board. Generally, suspensions prior to a Commander’s Action Hearing, Chief’s Hearing or Trial
Board should be restricted to an alleged violation for which dismissal from the department, upon conviction, is the maximum penalty. Suspensions prior to disciplinary action are strictly for the purpose of preservation of order or efficiency of the department, and are not considered, nor are they to be used, as an instrument of discipline”.

Comm. Okdie stated having said that, if you don’t mind, this particular individual is in a supervisory position, is he not.

Atty. Walker stated yes he is.

Comm. Okdie stated as a supervisor, isn’t part of their duties is to maintain a certain amount of order, within the ranks. Is that correct?

Atty. Walker stated yes.

Comm. Okdie stated would you say what you just read speaks specifically to what that particular individual must carry out. And, we have to weigh whether or not that particular individual can carry out those duties as regards to order. Is that correct?

Atty. Walker stated yes, I would concede that given the seriousness of the allegations, as stated in the petition to the Board, that a suspension is entirely reasonable only…I am saying to you that the suspension without pay without any evidentiary hearing does not enhance order or efficiency.

Comm. Okdie stated okay giving what you just said, does that particular passage speak to the question of pay or without pay, or is it silent. To be quite frank with you, I did not hear anything stated with pay or without pay. I think, and I could be wrong, but I think that specifically it’s the call of the Chief, is it not.

Atty. Walker stated no, the Chief in the end with something like this has to be submitted her judgment to your judgment.

Comm. Okdie stated right.

Atty. Walker stated in response to what you asked me I would say that is says, “suspensions prior to disciplinary action…are not considered, nor are they to be used, as an instrument of discipline.” I submit to you that when it says, “instrument of discipline”, if a person is suspended without pay, if you’re looking from that person’s eyes, a reasonable person in that situation, the fact that being suspended in and of itself is an instrument of discipline.

Comm. Okdie stated that’s your interpretation, correct.

Atty. Walker stated that’s fair.

Comm. Okdie stated when we have the department’s counsel, we can ask that specific question, right.

Atty. Walker stated yes.

Comm. Okdie stated I think that’s really what this hinges on. Your interpretation is whether this is a form of discipline, or is it a question of judgment.

Atty. Walker stated or a question of efficiency.

Atty. Jones stated the secretary read you pretty much what the facts of the case are. And that is that this gentleman, Sergeant David Cobb, S-616, did conspire to have his wife killed. This was corroborated by a witness’ statement and that witness is pending criminal charges at this particular moment.
There is an ongoing criminal investigation against Sgt. David Cobb. As to Sgt. David Cobb, the possibilities are first-degree murder, the conspiracy to commit murder; those are possible charges. I am sure that there are a few others as well. As to the question presented, we also have a witness’ statement of the co-conspirator. There is a case log that supports the co-conspirator’s statement, of which may be used against him. So, the fact that co-counsel mentioned that he is not available to present his case I don’t think that you hindered him from being here today.
But in any event, this is not an adversarial hearing for him to present his case. We need to focus on the facts and the facts are so egregious that we are asking you to suspend him without pay. As it relates to the provision, the counsel is relying on 102.4-2, which is suspension with pay under the Detroit Police Department Manual. It gives authority to suspend, and that authority lies within the Chief.
The Chief has asked this Board to concur with her decision, with her authority to suspend this gentleman without pay. Going forward, as we look at the suspension without pay in the case of those members who were suspended without pay, prior to the initiation of the administration disciplinary hearing who received the penalty of discipline, it will be the discretion of the court whether the suspension will be with or without pay. The fact that the criminal charges have yet to appear has no bearing on this, because there is a continued ongoing investigation.
What’s your role, I would assume to be is to determine if it’s in the best interest of the department to pay for violating not only the code of ethics, which will be the disciplinary charge against him, and criminal charges as well.
When I say criminal charges, the MCOLES has a character fitness section. They must be morally fit to be a police officer. This is not the first time that this officer has run into a situation such as this. I am asking you to suspend him without pay. Do you have any questions for me.

Comm. Okdie asked can you speak to the issue with or without pay perceived as a disciplinary measure.

Atty. Jones stated that is entirely up to the Board, I don’t perceive it to be a disciplinary matter. I am one of the attorneys that handle the disciplinary cases.

Comm. Okdie asked can you give a rationale please.

Atty. Jones stated to me we are not telling him—and I am giving you my rationale—we are telling him he cannot be reimbursed if he has to come back to work; we are not telling him that he can seek other forms of employment. We are not telling him that he is going to loose any type of benefits that he might still have. We are simply saying that in the best interest of the department, being that he himself placed the department in this dispute, that he be suspended without pay.

Comm. Griffin stated this is really addressed to both of the attorneys. In 102.4- 1.2, the operative phrase here is, subjective by the interpretation; preservation of order and efficiency. I am not an attorney, so let me just say it would be subjective. It would be left up to the leadership of the Detroit Police Department to determine whether or not that you can preserve order and efficiency by any actions that you have taken.
When you add that to the fact that the prosecutor, while not issuing a warrant according to the media, suggested that this is an ongoing investigation as the police department said. So, as an individual that looks at this as if I just focus on the preservation of order and efficiency, it moves me to question how could you have order and efficiency in light of the egregious nature on this offense and the individual involved is a supervisor with years of experience.
I am making a statement; therefore, I would have a very difficult time. Atty. Walker would have a difficult time explaining to me how of the converse of order and efficiency can be preserved if Sgt. Cobb can be simply, simply be suspended with pay, notwithstanding the fact that in his own eyes that it is punitive or disciplinary. I think that goes with the egregious nature of this offense.

Comm. Hampton asked do you see a timetable of the ongoing investigation.

Atty. Jones stated I would have to defer that to Internal Affairs, they are conducting the investigation and I do not know the timeframe. Although they are working expeditiously to get this matter resolved and back to the prosecutor’s office.

Atty. Walker stated I want respond to a couple of points. Commissioner, my view of it is that the egregiousness equals the suspension period. And, that’s the removal of this person from an active participation of this department, while this is going on; that in and of itself preserves the order and efficiency. And, I think it shows even to the other people in this department, regardless of the egregious allegations, that he is being treated fairly by the department. This is because people are falsely accused.
Because of that, that’s why the allegations are egregious themselves. I submit to you in and of itself should not be sufficient to justify a suspension without pay.
With regard to the ongoing nature of the investigation, we have seen events that have taken place recently, but the fact of the matter is that Sgt. Cobb was arrested and then released. Apparently everything is out according to the department as to what they know. They were willing to go to the prosecutor and to seek a warrant from them and they were stopped at that point.
What the investigation exactly itself may detail beyond this point seems very open to me. It will be open ended for Sgt. Cobb as well. I will submit to you that counsel had argued her case from the presumption of guilt, really. Even though this is not as serious as a criminal court, he may be reimbursed which means little to him. Because, for one, he may be reimbursed but his bills are ongoing at that time, as well as when a person is suspended they instantly loose all benefits. So any kind of health care from that moment forward, you decide that from that moment forward there will be no benefits from the department.
Counsel references the facts of the case and the facts are utterly unknown except for a triple hearsay petition from an unidentified member. Not even the name of the violent crime task force. We submit to you that fairness would be a suspension with pay.

Comm. Hampton asked does the contract refer to an administrative leave, if so what does that define in the contract.

Atty. Walker stated the contract also, in addition to the manual, speaks somewhat obliquely to this exact situation. But I did notice there are a couple of provisions under “Member’s Rights” and the officer’s rights.
Specifically, I reference three and that is paragraph one and not particular to this but I think it is a close analysis, “Any member who is accused of violating any criminal law, City, State or Federal shall be entitled to his full rights under the State and Federal Constitutions without being disciplined for exercising such rights unless specifically excepted in this Agreement.” I know no exceptions applied to this situation.
Paragraph 7, “Throughout all disciplinary hearings, each member shall presume innocent.”
And, finally Paragraph 8, no member shall be disciplined, discriminated against, or transferred because he exercises any of his constitutional rights to a grand jury or an investigative body or a law enforcement agency.
So under the contract, the members are provided with a blanket statement in favor of their rights pending a disciplinary hearing. I can see that they don’t speak specifically to this.

Comm. Hampton asked Atty. Hooks is there any feedback on administrative leave.

Atty. Hooks stated she is not aware of that being in the agreement.

Comm. Okdie stated what was going through my mind when you were reading that, that speaks directly to my point. My point was that we should not be making decisions based on what the civil courts are doing. We should be making decisions based on what’s in the manuals and what has been established by the department that every police officer agrees to when they are hired by the department.
That those rules and those regulations in the manuals are something that every officer agrees to when they are hired, and consequently we have to abide by them. What I think that I just heard you read pertains specifically to the notion that we should not be considering whether or not a court or a prosecutor is facilitating a warrant or pending charges on a particular officer. That we have to be concerned specifically with the guidelines that are set forth in the manual that every officer agrees to; that’s what I thought you read.

Atty. Walker stated and that’s fair enough. If that’s the case of course, by agreeing to the manual Sgt. Cobb is still standing on the presumption of innocence which is a part of it as much as anything. So the only real issue, because we are not taking issues with the idea of a suspension, the only real issue that you are deciding is if he’s going to have pay from this moment forward.
Forget the civil courts, criminal courts or any of the courts, pending whatever may happen in the future. Or, if we can decide right now that he will not receive any future payments and benefits, pending whatever happens in the future. I submit to you any real evidence at all.

Comm. Okdie stated right. The question before us is whether or not we agree with the determination of the Chief of Police. The Chief of Police is asking for a suspension without pay and we are to determine whether or not we are in agreement with the Chief. Is that correct?

Atty. Walker stated yes, and I would just say to take the Chief literally at her words, “due to the seriousness of the conduct, I am requesting your concurrence with the suspension of Sgt. Cobb without pay.” I submit to you that looking only with the seriousness of the allegations not the conduct is unfair to the member.

Comm. Okdie stated and that is her prerogative.

Atty. Walker it’s her prerogative until it gets to you.

Comm. Okdie stated that’s right and what I am suggesting is that the item that you read to us in the manual is silent to that issue, borrowing your interpretation.

Atty. Walker stated I rather not borrow my interpretation; my interpretation is that’s our view of it.

Comm. Okdie stated and you are doing a very good job at it.
Due to the seriousness of the conduct, I am requesting your concurrence with the suspension of Sergeant David Cobb without pay, effective April 24, 2008. Unless contravened by this Board the suspension without pay shall stand.
There were no contraventions.

Atty. Hooks stated hearing no contraventions, the suspension without pay can go into effect.





















OFFICER COBB RELEASED AFTER ARREST
Click On Detroit
Channel 4
April 2008


Video from: Cloudwriter / Behind The Blue Wall:






Police are continuing their investigation into Officer David Cobb's connection to Rose's murder.






Officer Cobb was released after his arrest, as there was not sufficient evidence to charge him in connection to Rose's murder....






....However, the police had sufficient evidence to charge hitman Vincent Smothers in connection with Rose's murder.






After Rose's murder, the Detroit Police Commission had suspended with pay. After Cobb's arrest, the Commission changed Cobb's suspension to UNPAID.






Officer Cobb's attorney [Fred Walker] argued with the Commission that Cobb had not been charged in connection to the murder, and thus his pay status during his suspension should not be changed from 'paid' to 'unpaid'.






The Detroit Police Chief and the Commission ruled to change Officer Cobb's suspension to UNPAID during the investigation of Rose's murder.










New Revelations About Sgt. David Cobb
Last Update: 4/23/08  8:04
WXYZ - Channel 7 News, Detroit
http://www.wxyz.com/mostpopular/story.aspx?content_id=ff7dbd8a-4415-4a5f-b911-54ac9b8f8142





We're learning more about another run-in with the law for Sgt. David Cobb.

Our reporting partners at The Detroit News are reporting that in October 2006 he was found not guilty of soliciting sex from a 15 year old girl.

She had told prosecutors that he gave her a ride in what appeared to be an unmarked police car.

The girl also told officials that he asked her about her sexual experiences, and sent her lewd text messages.









Detroit cop accused of ordering hit on wife is released
Santiago Esparza and Paul Egan
The Detroit News
April 22, 2008
http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080422/METRO01/804220402/1006/rss01

DETROIT -- A Detroit police request for an arrest warrant charging a police officer with hiring a hit man to kill his wife has been denied by the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office because investigators lack enough evidence to justify the charges.

Sgt. David Cobb's attorney said today he expects his client will be fully reinstated with the police department Thursday, when the police commission next meets.

Prosecutor Kym Worthy said the case against Cobb hinges upon statements from two men who were charged today with killing 47-year-old Rose Cobb, the wife of Sgt. Cobb, on Dec. 26 outside a pharmacy on East Jefferson.

Police arrested Cobb Sunday but had to let him go today when Worthy declined to press charges.

Vincent Smothers, 27, confessed to Rose Cobb's murder when he was arrested in connection with two other slayings not related to her death, police said. Smothers has confessed to killing seven people.

Marzell Shawn Black, 20, also was charged in Cobb's slaying.

"The only evidence that was presented to us that connects Sgt. Cobb with this murder are the statements of defendants Smothers and Black," Worthy said. "Under the law, Smothers and Black cannot be compelled to testify; there is no admissible evidence upon which to charge him at this time.

"We informed the Detroit Police Department of our decision prior to Sgt. Cobb's release. We have also contacted the family of Mrs. Cobb and we want them to know we have not given up on this case. The police will continue to vigorously investigate this matter."

Richard Morgan Jr., a Pontiac attorney who is representing Cobb along with Elbert L. Hatchett, said Cobb has never met Smothers and had nothing to do with his wife's death.

"It's devastating to him," Morgan said of the allegations against Cobb. "You lose a loved one and the next thing you know you're being (accused of) the murder of that person.

"It's caused a great deal of trials and tribulations for him."

Cobb has been suspended with pay, Morgan said. "He's not guilty of any charges," and it's clear the prosecutor's office agreed, he said.

Detroit Police Assistant Chief Robert Dunlap this morning said that investigators had presented as complete a request as possible for a warrant charging Cobb with setting up his wife's murder. Police said Cobb had his wife killed to collect on a $200,000 insurance policy. Smothers was offered $10,000 for the hit, police said.

"We are very confident with the case we presented to the prosecutor's office," Dunlap said during a press conference this morning at police headquarters. "We are very confident in the work we have done."

The department can only hold a suspect for 47 ½ hours before setting the person free if the prosecutor's office does not approve an arrest warrant, Dunlap said. The federal consent agreement that governs the department's reforms mandates that time frame, he said.

Black and Smothers are charged with one count each of first-degree murder in Cobb's slaying. If found guilty, they face mandatory life in prison. Smothers also has been charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, a five-year felony, and using a firearm to commit a felony, a two-year felony.

Black also has been charged with solicitation of murder, which carries a sentence of life in prison.










Detroit sergeant released from custody; no charges Battle Creek Enquirer
The Associated Press
April 22, 2008
http://www.battlecreekenquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080422/NEWS01/304220022/1002

DETROIT — A police sergeant arrested after a man claimed he was paid to kill the sergeant’s wife was released from custody today and isn’t facing charges.

Detroit Sgt. David Cobb was released after spending 47 1/2 hours in custody. He was let go after prosecutors refused to authorize charges.

Cobb, 38, was arrested after Vincent Smothers told investigators he was responsible for at least seven contract killings. Detroit police say one of those killings was Cobb’s 48-year-old wife, Rose, who was killed outside a CVS pharmacy the day after Christmas.

Smothers and another man were charged today in Rose Cobb’s killing.

The warrant request for David Cobb was denied because it lacked sufficient evidence to charge him, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement.

The only evidence given to the prosecutor’s office connecting Cobb to his wife’s slaying are the statements of two men charged today in her death, Worthy said.

“There is no admissible evidence upon which to charge him at this time,” Worthy said of Cobb. “We informed the Detroit Police Department of our decision prior to Sgt. Cobb’s release. We have also contacted the family of Mrs. Cobb, and we want them to know we have not given up on this case. The police will continue to vigorously investigate this matter.”

David Cobb has known for months that he was being viewed as a suspect in his wife’s slaying, said his attorney, Elbert Hatchett, who was retained in January.

Cobb had driven the couple to the CVS on Dec. 26 and was inside when his wife was shot several times through the window of their van.

“The suspicion involved focused on him,” Hatchett said of Cobb. “He has steadfastly insisted that he had nothing to do with his wife’s murder.“We knew they were investigating. We knew what they had and didn’t have. They didn’t have enough to charge him with a reasonable chance of conviction.”

Smothers is charged with first-degree murder in Rose Cobb’s death, while Marzell Shawn Black, 20, is charged with solicitation of murder, Worthy said.

Smothers, 27, also was arraigned Monday on two other slayings last June. He is being held without bond in the Wayne County Jail.

Neither Smothers nor Black had listed telephone numbers. The prosecutor’s office did not know if they had retained attorneys.










Detroit sergeant released from custody; no charges
WOOD TV 8
April 22, 2008
http://www.woodtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=8208805&nav=menu44_2

DETROIT -- Rose Cobb's slaying outside an east side Detroit pharmacy initially was viewed as the bloody aftermath of a failed carjacking.

It's winding trail led police Saturday to an alleged hired killer, and the following morning to the arrest of Cobb's husband, Detroit police Sgt. David Cobb.

David Cobb walked free Tuesday from a police lockup as Vincent Smothers _ who police say has admitted to killing Rose Cobb and six other people since 2006 _ continued to sit in the county jail on murder charges.

Prosecutors said they weren't given enough information to authorize a murder warrant against Cobb, but police officials said they believed they had enough to charge one of their own in Rose Cobb's Dec. 26 slaying.

The two men charged in the case told investigators David Cobb hired them to kill his wife and set up the hit by arranging for her to be alone in a car outside a Detroit drug store so she could be shot, according to a court document.

"Probably, the only stronger information we could have presented is if we ... were there, eyewitnesses as these people were committing the crime," Assistant Police Chief Robert Dunlap said Tuesday.

One of Cobb's lawyers called the allegation against the officer "hogwash." "He had nothing to do with his wife's death," Tyron Rucker said. "He loved his wife."

After spending nearly two days in custody, David Cobb, 38, was back inside the home he shared with his 47-year-old wife in one of the city's newer subdivisions a few blocks from the banks of the Detroit River.

David Cobb declined to discuss the case, his arrest or her death Tuesday, but another lawyer representing him said they had known for months that he was a suspect.

Cobb had driven the couple to the CVS the day after Christmas and was inside the store when his wife was shot several times through the window of their van.

"The suspicion involved focused on him," said Elbert Hatchett, who was retained by Cobb in January. "We knew they were investigating. We knew what they had and didn't have. They didn't have enough to charge him with a reasonable chance of conviction.

"He has steadfastly insisted that he had nothing to do with his wife's murder."

Cobb has been suspended with pay.

Smothers, 27, told homicide investigators that he killed people for money, including Rose Cobb, Detroit Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings said Monday during a news conference.

"He made a living by murder for hire," said Bully-Cummings who compared Rose Cobb's investigation to an unfinished puzzle.

"Over a period of time, additional evidence was obtained that fused it all together, and the hired hit man was Vincent Smothers."

But statements by Smothers and 20-year-old Marzell Shawn Black linking David Cobb to his wife's death weren't enough to charge him, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement.

Smothers and Black were arraigned Tuesday in Rose Cobb's death. Smothers was charged with first-degree murder, being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm during a felony. Black was charged with first-degree murder and solicitation of murder, according to the prosecutor's office.

They were ordered held without bond until their preliminary examination May 1 in Detroit's 36th District Court.

Neither Smothers nor Black had listed telephone numbers. The prosecutor's office said neither had a lawyer Tuesday.

"Under the law, Smothers and Black cannot be compelled to testify," Worthy said. "There is no admissible evidence upon which to charge him at this time."

On Monday, Smothers was arraigned in Detroit on two counts each of first-degree murder and felony murder and one count each of assault with intent to murder, being a felon in possession of a firearm and possessing a firearm during a felony.

Those charges stem from the drug related shooting of three people, two fatally, last June.










Accused Cop in Hit-Man Case Released
News/Talk 760 WJR- Detroit
April 22, 2008
http://www.wjr.net/Article.asp?id=667640&spid

(DETROIT) - A Detroit Police Sergeant has been released pending further investigation into what police say was the hired execution killing of his wife. Police say 27-year-old Vincent Smothers was promised $10,000 dollars to shoot Rose Cobb outside a pharmacy in Detroit on the day after Christmas. Smothers has confessed to at least seven contract killings. Rose Cobb's husband, Detroit police Sgt. David Cobb, was arrested, but now Cobb has been released. This indicates that police may not believe everything they're hearing from the confessed hit-man.










Detroit cop freed after DA rejects charges in wife's death
By COREY WILLIAMS Associated Press Writer
MICentral/Michigan Newspaper Network
Apr 22, 8:03 PM EDT
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/O/OFFICERS_WIFE_SLAIN?SITE=MIPON&SECTION=US&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2008-04-22-18-28-18

DETROIT (AP) -- A police officer arrested after a man claimed he was paid to kill the officer's wife was released from custody Tuesday and isn't facing charges, authorities said.

Sgt. David Cobb was released after spending 47 1/2 hours in custody because prosecutors refused to authorize charges.

He has known for months that he was being viewed as a suspect in his wife's slaying, said his attorney Elbert Hatchett.

Police said Cobb, 38, was arrested after Vincent Smothers told investigators he was responsible for at least seven contract killings, including that of Cobb's wife, Rose, 47, who was shot to death outside a pharmacy the day after Christmas. Smothers and another man were charged Tuesday in Rose Cobb's killing.

A warrant request for David Cobb was denied because it lacked sufficient evidence to charge him, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement.

The only evidence given to the prosecutor's office connecting Cobb to his wife's slaying is the statements of the two men charged in her death, but they can't be compelled to testify, Worthy said.

"There is no admissible evidence upon which to charge him at this time," she said of Cobb.

The two men charged in the case told investigators David Cobb hired them to kill his wife and set up the hit by arranging for her to be alone in their car so she could be shot, according to a court document. He was inside the pharmacy at the time.

"Probably, the only stronger information we could have presented is if we ... were there, eyewitnesses as these people were committing the crime," Assistant Police Chief Robert Dunlap said Tuesday.

Cobb's attorney Tyron Rucker called the allegations against the officer "hogwash."

"He had nothing to do with his wife's death," Rucker said. "He loved his wife."

On Tuesday, Cobb was back inside the home he had shared with his wife in one of the city's newer subdivisions a few blocks from the banks of the Detroit River. He declined to discuss the case, his arrest or her death.

Smothers is charged with first-degree murder in Rose Cobb's death and Marzell Shawn Black, 20, is charged with solicitation of murder. They were arraigned Tuesday and ordered held without bond until their preliminary examination May 1.

Smothers, 27, was arraigned Monday on two other slayings committed last June and he was being held without bail.

Neither Smothers nor Black had listed telephone numbers. The prosecutor's office said neither had a lawyer Tuesday.










Detroit cop freed after DA rejects charges in wife's death
4/22/2008, 6:28 p.m. EDT
By COREY WILLIAMS
The Associated Press
MLIVE
http://www.mlive.com/newsflash/index.ssf?/base/national-103/1208877249128550.xml&storylist=national

DETROIT (AP) — A police officer arrested after a man claimed he was paid to kill the officer's wife was released from custody Tuesday and isn't facing charges, authorities said.

Sgt. David Cobb was released after spending 47 1/2 hours in custody because prosecutors refused to authorize charges.

He has known for months that he was being viewed as a suspect in his wife's slaying, said his attorney, Elbert Hatchett.

Police said Cobb, 38, was arrested after Vincent Smothers told investigators he was responsible for at least seven contract killings, including that of Cobb's wife, Rose, 47, who was killed outside a pharmacy the day after Christmas. Smothers and another man were charged Tuesday in Rose Cobb's killing.

A warrant request for David Cobb was denied because it lacked sufficient evidence to charge him, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement.

The only evidence given to the prosecutor's office connecting Cobb to his wife's slaying is the statements of the two men charged in her death, but they can't be compelled to testify, Worthy said.

"There is no admissible evidence upon which to charge him at this time," she said of Cobb.

Police officials believed they had enough evidence to charge one of their own.

"Probably, the only stronger information we could have presented is if we ... were there, eyewitnesses as these people were committing the crime," Assistant Police Chief Robert Dunlap said Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Cobb was back inside the home he had shared with his wife in one of the city's newer subdivisions a few blocks from the banks of the Detroit River. He declined to discuss the case, his arrest or her death.

Cobb was inside the pharmacy when his wife was shot several times through the window of their van.

"The suspicion involved focused on him," Hatchett said. "He has steadfastly insisted that he had nothing to do with his wife's murder.

"We knew they were investigating. We knew what they had and didn't have. They didn't have enough to charge him with a reasonable chance of conviction."

Smothers is charged with first-degree murder in Rose Cobb's death and Marzell Shawn Black, 20, is charged with solicitation of murder, Worthy said.

Smothers, 27, was arraigned Monday on two other slayings committed last June and he was being held without bail.

The prosecutor's office did not know if Smothers or Black had retained attorneys to speak for them.










Detroit sergeant released from custody; no charges By COREY WILLIAMS
Associated Press Writer
Chicago Tribune
5:52 PM CDT, April 22, 2008
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-officerswifeslain,1,2616157,print.story

DETROIT. Rose Cobb's slaying outside an east side Detroit pharmacy initially was viewed as the bloody aftermath of a failed carjacking. It's winding trail led police Saturday to an alleged hired killer, and the following morning to the arrest of Cobb's husband, Detroit police Sgt. David Cobb.

David Cobb walked free Tuesday from a police lockup as Vincent Smothers -- who police say has admitted to killing Rose Cobb and six other people since 2006 -- continued to sit in the county jail on murder charges.

Prosecutors said they weren't given enough information to authorize a murder warrant against Cobb, but police officials said they believed they had enough to charge one of their own in Rose Cobb's Dec. 26 slaying.

The two men charged in the case told investigators David Cobb hired them to kill his wife and set up the hit by arranging for her to be alone in a car outside a Detroit drug store so she could be shot, according to a court document.

"Probably, the only stronger information we could have presented is if we ... were there, eyewitnesses as these people were committing the crime," Assistant Police Chief Robert Dunlap said Tuesday.

One of Cobb's lawyers called the allegation against the officer "hogwash." "He had nothing to do with his wife's death," Tyron Rucker said. "He loved his wife."

After spending nearly two days in custody, David Cobb, 38, was back inside the home he shared with his 47-year-old wife in one of the city's newer subdivisions a few blocks from the banks of the Detroit River.

David Cobb declined to discuss the case, his arrest or her death Tuesday, but another lawyer representing him said they had known for months that he was a suspect.

Cobb had driven the couple to the CVS the day after Christmas and was inside the store when his wife was shot several times through the window of their van.

"The suspicion involved focused on him," said Elbert Hatchett, who was retained by Cobb in January. "We knew they were investigating. We knew what they had and didn't have. They didn't have enough to charge him with a reasonable chance of conviction. "He has steadfastly insisted that he had nothing to do with his wife's murder."

Cobb has been suspended with pay.

Smothers, 27, told homicide investigators that he killed people for money, including Rose Cobb, Detroit Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings said Monday during a news conference.

"He made a living by murder for hire," said Bully-Cummings who compared Rose Cobb's investigation to an unfinished puzzle. "Over a period of time, additional evidence was obtained that fused it all together, and the hired hit man was Vincent Smothers."

But statements by Smothers and 20-year-old Marzell Shawn Black linking David Cobb to his wife's death weren't enough to charge him, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement.

Smothers and Black were arraigned Tuesday in Rose Cobb's death. Smothers was charged with first-degree murder, being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm during a felony. Black was charged with first-degree murder and solicitation of murder, according to the prosecutor's office. They were ordered held without bond until their preliminary examination May 1 in Detroit's 36th District Court.

Neither Smothers nor Black had listed telephone numbers.

The prosecutor's office said neither had a lawyer Tuesday.

"Under the law, Smothers and Black cannot be compelled to testify," Worthy said. "There is no admissible evidence upon which to charge him at this time."

On Monday, Smothers was arraigned in Detroit on two counts each of first-degree murder and felony murder and one count each of assault with intent to murder, being a felon in possession of a firearm and possessing a firearm during a felony. Those charges stem from the drug related shooting of three people, two fatally, last June.










2 Men Arraigned In CVS Murder; Husband Released
Detroit News
POSTED: 10:16 am EDT April 22, 2008
UPDATED: 7:52 pm EDT April 22, 2008
http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/15955530/detail.html?subid=10100241

DETROIT -- Detroit Police Officer David Cobb, who allegedly hired a hit man to kill his wife in the parking lot of an east-side CVS store, was released from custody at 6 a.m. Tuesday after prosecutors refused to sign a warrant to charge him, police said.

Cobb was arrested Sunday morning after Vincent Smothers, 27, of Shelby Township claimed after his arrest on Saturday that Cobb had hired him to kill the officer's wife, Rose Cobb.

Smothers was arraigned Monday in Detroit on a drug related shooting of three people last June and arraigned Tuesday for Rose Cobb's slaying.

Smothers allegedly admitted to killing at least six other people as a hired gun.

Detroit Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings said Monday during a news conference.

"He made a living by murder for hire," said Bully-Cummings who compared Rose Cobb's investigation to an unfinished puzzle.

A second person was arraigned Tuesday with arranging Rose Cobb's killing. Marzell Shawn Black, 20, of Detroit has been charged with first-degree murder and solicitation of murder, according to the prosecutor's office.

According to a report in The Detroit Free Press, Black is the son of a woman with whom Cobb was having an affair. Also, the Free Press lists a police source as saying that Cobb was going to pay Smothers $10,000 from Rose Cobb's life insurance money.

Cobb told Local 4 from his home Tuesday morning that he loved his wife and denied any involvement in her killing.

"I've always denied the charges," Cobb said. "And I don't want to say anything else. I don't have anything to do with it. I have absolutely no reason to harm my wife. I love my wife."

Cobb's attorney said that while Cobb was in jail, police tried to coerce a confession out of him.

"Dave had nothing to do with this," said attorney Tyron Rucker. "In a sense, he's been a victim twice -- losing his wife and then being treated by Detroit police."

The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office issued a statement saying that there was not enough evidence to charge Cobb.

"The only evidence that was presented to us that connects Sgt. Cobb with this murder are the statements of defendants Smothers and Black," the statement said. "Under the law Smothers and Black cannot be compelled to testify; there is no admissible evidence upon which to charge him at this time."

In December, Rose Cobb was shot at least once in the head while inside of the couple's van at a CVS on Jefferson Avenue and died at the scene.

Dave Cobb had claimed to be inside the CVS when his wife was shot.










Prosecutors won't authorize warrant against police sergeant
April 22, 2008 10:54AM ET
WLNS TV 6 - Lansing MI
http://www.wlns.com/Global/story.asp?S=8207981&nav=menu25_2

DETROIT (AP) - Prosecutors have refused to authorize a warrant for a Detroit police sergeant whose wife was shot to death in what authorities are calling a contract killing.

Assistant Police Chief Robert Dunlop says 38-year-old David Cobb was released Tuesday morning after spending 47 1/2 hours in custody.

Cobb is suspended with pay. Authorities had said his arrest was part of an ongoing investigation.

Vincent Smothers was arraigned Monday on murder charges in connection with two drug-related slayings last summer.

Detroit Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings says the 27-year-old Smothers told investigators he killed five others for pay since 2006, including 48-year-old Rose Cobb outside a pharmacy in December.

Wayne County prosecutor's spokeswoman Maria Miller had no immediate comment on David Cobb's release or the warrant police were seeking.










Widowed Detroit cop arrested after 2nd man admits 7 killings
Associated Press
By COREY WILLIAMS – 3 hours ago
April 21, 2008
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jDNHwSWso7YlfKNxkdJee5j4GQdwD906I6RO0

DETROIT (AP) — A police sergeant was arrested after a man charged with two murders told investigators he was responsible for at least seven contract killings, including the shooting of the sergeant's wife, authorities said Monday.

In what Detroit Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings called an ambush, Sgt. David Cobb's wife, Rose Cobb, was shot Dec. 26 as she waited in the couple's van as he shopped at a pharmacy.

Cobb was arrested early Sunday morning at his home, Bully-Cummings said. The chief didn't offer any details about the arrest, and calls to the Wayne County jail went unanswered. Cobb was to be arraigned Tuesday.

Investigators went to Cobb's home after speaking with Vincent Smothers, 27, who was arrested Saturday in Shelby Township, about 20 miles north of Detroit, in a June 2007 drug-related shooting in which two people were killed and one was wounded.

Smothers told Detroit homicide investigators about four other cases, including the shooting death of Rose Cobb, 47, Bully-Cummings said.

He made a living by murder for hire. He was, in plain terms, a hit man," he said.

Smothers, 27, was arraigned Monday in district court on two counts each of first-degree murder and felony murder and one count each of assault with intent to murder, being a felon in possession of a firearm and possessing a firearm during a felony. Magistrate Sidney Barthwell Jr. entered a not guilty plea on his behalf and ordered him jailed without bond until his preliminary examination May 1, calling him "an extreme danger to the community."

Investigators have three other suspects who could be charged for their roles in the seven slayings, Bully-Cummings said.

The Wayne County prosecutor's office said it didn't know if Smothers or Cobb had retained attorneys. There was no Detroit phone listing for either man.










STATE: Ex-con: Cop hired me to kill wife
By Ben Schmitt and Peggy Walsh-Sarnecki
GANNETT NEWS SERVICE
Livingston Daily
April 21, 2008
http://www.dailypressandargus.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080421/NEWS01/80421005

A man who says a Detroit police sergeant hired him to kill his wife is expected to be arraigned today in 36th District Court in Detroit.

Vincent Smothers, 27, was arrested Saturday night in Shelby Township after police received a tip from an informant.

He told officers of the multi-jurisdictional Violent Crimes Task Force that Sgt. David Cobb hired him to kill Rose Cobb, 47, on Dec. 26 while she was sitting in a vehicle in a CVS parking lot on East Jefferson and Dickerson on Detroit's east side.

Smothers confessed to killing Rose Cobb and nine other people, police said.

Officers from the Detroit police special response team arrested Cobb, 38, of Detroit without incident around 6 a.m. Sunday at his home. He remains in police custody.

Detroit police spokesman James Tate confirmed Cobb's arrest. "Sgt. Cobb's arrest is part of an ongoing investigation," Tate said.

Police said Smothers told officers that David Cobb, who was inside the store at the time of the shooting, paid him to kill his wife.

Details weren't immediately available on all of the other slayings he said he's responsible for.Cobb works with the department's Eastern District. His status with the department is unclear today. A spokesperson at the Southwest District confirmed Cobb is being held and will likely be arraigned on felony charges Tuesday and that Smothers would be arraigned at 8 a.m. today.

Police wouldn't disclose what the charges would be.

Maria Miller, spokeswoman for the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office, would not comment.

An arrest warrant was issued April 11 by the 36th District Court for Smothers on charges of first-degree murder, felony murder, assault with intent to murder and firearm offenses stemming from a June 21 shooting in the 17000 block of Gravier in Detroit in which he and an accomplice allegedly shot three people, killing two at an apartment complex.

The accomplice has been convicted of the crimes, according to a sworn affidavit filed April 15 by the FBI with the U.S. District Court in Detroit.

Smothers has two arrests, both in 1999. He was arrested in Wayne County for carrying a concealed weapon. He also was arrested in Oakland County for carrying a concealed weapon and for possessing stolen property. Smothers was sentenced to one year in prison for the Wayne County offense and two years, eight months for the Oakland County crimes. He was discharged from his parole in 2003, according to Michigan Department of Corrections records.

Neighbors near Cobb's home on Edlie Circle off East Jefferson said they saw police take Cobb away. They said he walked out of the house without shoes, but police later went inside his home to get them.

Rose Cobb was shot multiple times in the head through a side window of the couple's minivan, police said at the time.

Cobb also had been a Wayne State University Law School student.

Mike Taylor, a third-year law student, said he had shared a class with Cobb the last four semesters and noticed Cobb stopped coming to class about a month ago. Taylor, 24, said he and Cobb sometimes talked about class, but not their personal lives.

Taylor said he knew Cobb's wife had been slain, but said Sunday's arrest surprised him."He seemed to be levelheaded," he said. "He seemed to be insightful. He seemed to be well-reasoned."










Arrest of Officer Cobb and hitman Vincent Smothers in connection to Rose Cobb's murder
April 2008


Video from: Cloudwriter / Behind The Bluewall:






Vincent Smothers [along with Officer David Cobb] was arrested for being the hitman who Officer Cobb hired to murder Rose.






A neighbor of Rose's expressed her shock at Officer Cobb having hired a hitman to murder Rose.






Rose Cobb murder scene [December 26, 2007]






Candlelight vigil held for Rose, by family and friends [January 2008]






"She didn't deserve to die like this...."











Police: Cop who hired man to kill wife was having affair
BY BEN SCHMITT
Detroit Free Press
April 21, 2008
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080421/NEWS01/80421029/&imw=Y

The Detroit police sergeant accused of hiring a hit man to kill his wife was having an affair, a possible motive, police told the Free Press today.

Police Sgt. David Cobb, 38, allegedly hired 27-year-old Vincent Smothers to kill his wife, Rose Cobb, 47, as she sat in the couple’s van Dec. 26 in the parking lot of a CVS pharmacy on East Jefferson.

Smothers was arrested Saturday night at a Shelby Township apartment by a multijurisdictional Violent Crimes Task Force and told police he is responsible for seven hired killings, including the shooting of Rose Cobb, police said.

He also wounded two in the shootings, police said.“He made a living by murder for hire,” Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings said of Smothers during a press conference today. “He was, in plain terms, a hit man.”

The chief said Smothers provided “information that nobody else knew,” related to the killings from August 2006 through December 2007.

Smothers was arraigned today on two first-degree murder charges in connection with the June 21, 2007, killings of Clarence Cherry, 34, and Gaudrielle Webster, 17, at an apartment building near Gravier and Cadieux on Detroit's east side. An 18-year-old woman was shot and wounded during the incident, resulting in an assault with intent to murder charge against Smothers.

Magistrate Sydney Barthwell Jr. ordered him held without bond in the Wayne County jail.

“Mr. Smothers, you are an extreme danger to the community,” Barthwell told Smothers.

Smothers said he met David Cobb in early December through the son of Cobb’s mistress, police said.

Smothers told police that Cobb offered him $10,000 of insurance money and they set up the 9 p.m. shooting time, when Cobb would be shopping inside the pharmacy, police said.

After a driver brought him to the CVS, Smothers walked up to Rose Cobb, shooting her several times in the head through the van’s window, police said.

After the killing, Cobb told Smothers he was a suspect in the crime and was not able to collect his insurance money from her death, police said.

When arrested Saturday night, Smothers was wanted on another murder charge.

An arrest warrant was issued April 11 by the 36th District Court for Smothers on charges of first-degree murder, felony murder, assault with intent to murder and firearm offenses stemming from a June 21 shooting in the 17000 block of Gravier, near Cadiuex, in Detroit in which he and an accomplice allegedly shot three people, killing two at an apartment complex.

Smothers will be arraigned on the charges this evening.

The accomplice has been convicted of the crimes, according to a sworn affidavit filed April 15 by the FBI with the U.S. District Court in Detroit.

Smothers has two arrests, both in 1999. He was arrested in Wayne County for carrying a concealed weapon. He also was arrested in Oakland County for carrying a concealed weapon and for possessing stolen property. Smothers was sentenced to one year in prison for the Wayne County offense and two years, eight months for the Oakland County crimes. He was discharged from his parole in 2003, according to Michigan Department of Corrections records.

Smothers also told police he shot and killed two Chicago-area men May 24 on the city’s east side.

Officers, at the time, found nine shell casings next to the driver’s side of a 2006 white Nissan Altima with Illinois plates parked on Jos. Campau at the eastbound I-94 service drive. One man was dead inside of the car; the other was lying outside of the car.

Bully-Cummings said police are also investigating two separate shooting incidents on the 12000 block of Strasburg in August 2006 and January 2007. In each incident, one man was killed and the other was wounded.

Police said they also questioned Smothers about the April 20, 2003, shooting death of Tamara Greene, a stripper known as Strawberry. Smothers said he was not responsible for the shooting.

Greene has been linked in rumors to a never-proven party the mayor supposedly threw at the city-owned Manoogian Mansion in the fall of 2002.










Detroit cop held in hit on his wife
Authorities arrest 2nd man in killing at CVS, suspect him in slayings of eight others for hire.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Paul Egan and Francis X. Donnelly
The Detroit News
http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080421/METRO/804210352&imw=Y

DETROIT -- Authorities on Sunday arrested a Detroit police sergeant accused of putting out a contract on his wife after earlier arresting the accused "hitman," a 27-year-old Detroiter who could be responsible for as many as nine killings.

Sgt. David Cobb, 38, who works in the department's eastern district, was arrested without incident at his home early Sunday morning, police said.

His wife, Rose Cobb, 47, was fatally shot in the head several times on Dec. 26, 2007, as she sat in the couple's van in the parking lot of a CVS pharmacy on East Jefferson. David Cobb was shopping inside the store at the time.

The arrest of Cobb came hours after a multi-jurisdictional violent crime task force arrested Vincent Smothers, 27, in Macomb County's Shelby Township. Police questioning of Smothers linked him to the Cobb killing and much more.

Smothers described himself as a professional hitman who was paid $1,500 by David Cobb to kill Rose Cobb and who also was responsible for a long string of killings, police said.

When arrested Saturday night, Smothers was wanted by Detroit police for first-degree murder on a warrant issued on April 11 by 36th District Court in Detroit.

That murder warrant related to a June 21, 2007, drug house shooting on the east side of Detroit, in which a man and woman were killed and another woman was critically injured.

Smothers and another man targeted the victims, seeking money and drugs, an FBI agent who was looking for Smothers said in a sworn affidavit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Detroit.

Smothers and the other man entered the apartment on Gravier, tied up the two women occupants and ransacked the apartment, according to the affidavit and news reports of the incident.

Smothers then shot the two occupants, killing one of them, the affidavit said.

Smothers and the other man then went out to the parking lot, where they shot and killed a man who had been lured to the apartment, the affidavit said.

Killed were Clarence Cherry, 35, who police say was shot at least 15 times outside the apartment building, and Karisa Rice, 18, who was inside.

Lakari Kareem Berry, 27, also known as James Morgan III, who was arrested in 2007 at a motel in St. Clair Shores, is serving a life sentence for murder in connection with that incident.

Both Cobb and Smothers were in custody Sunday night and neither had been arraigned.
Smothers has served time in state prison for firearms offenses.

He was described by an uncle Sunday as a man who was profoundly and adversely affected by the 1999 handgun killing of his 15-year-old sister in the driveway of his family's home on Vinton in Detroit.

The girl, a promising athlete who had been offered volleyball scholarships, was shooting hoops on Easter Sunday when she was shot by a man who came from next door to threaten another of her brothers, said Simon Smothers, an uncle of Vincent Smothers.

Family members say that "after that, he lost it," Simon Smothers said.

"That boy must have felt the world was nothing but murder and if someone could murder his baby sister like that ... he may hate the world enough to murder people."

Still, "there's no excuse for murdering anybody," Simon Smothers said.

Vincent Smothers, who attended Kettering High School in Detroit, is the son of Willie Frank Smothers, a former Chrysler employee and former construction worker who died of cancer in 1999, not long after his daughter's killing, the uncle said.

The man Vincent Smothers is suspected of killing for, David Cobb, had been suspected of involvement in his wife's death but had denied wrongdoing, officials said.

Rose Cobb's family, who had held a vigil for her in January, said they were stunned by the arrest of her husband.

"I mean, I'm just very shocked," said a Hamtramck nephew who declined to give his name. "I don't know what to say."

Workers at Hutzel Women's Hospital, where Rose Cobb worked as a social worker, said they also were stunned by the arrest.

They described Rose Cobb as a sweet, kind person full of grace and dignity. She was always willing to listen to other people and help with their troubles, they said.

"I just miss her very much," said Renee Crosby, an administrative assistant in the hospital's social work department.

After the arrest, which happened about 6:30 a.m., neighbors said they were surprised to see an armored vehicle and SWAT team descend upon their neighborhood on the city's east side.

They said they were even more surprised to see the person being marched from his condominium on Edlie Circle -- a police officer.

"They seemed fine to me," neighbor Gwen Johnson said about the Cobbs' marriage. "They're just regular people."










Murder for hire plot
Channel 7 News, Detroit

Video from: Cloudwriter / Behind The Blue Wall:






Officer David Cobb was arrested April 20th, in connection with the murder of his wife, Rose [December 26, 2007]






Officer Cobb is accused of hiring a hitman to kill Rose.









Rose Cobb.






Letter that Officer Cobb read at Rose's funeral.






Letter that Officer Cobb read at Rose's funeral.










Ex-con: Cop hired me to kill his wife
Detroit sergeant arrested in parking lot shooting
BY BEN SCHMITT and PEGGY WALSH-SARNECKI
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITERS
April 21, 2008
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080421/NEWS06/804210335

A man who says a Detroit police sergeant hired him to kill his wife is expected to be arraigned today in 36th District Court in Detroit.

Vincent Smothers, 27, was arrested Saturday night in Shelby Township after police received a tip from an informant.

He told officers of the multijurisdictional Violent Crimes Task Force that Sgt. David Cobb hired him to kill Rose Cobb, 47, on Dec. 26 while she was sitting in a vehicle in a CVS parking lot on East Jefferson and Dickerson on Detroit's east side.

Smothers confessed to killing Rose Cobb and nine other people, police said.

Officers from the Detroit police special response team arrested Cobb, 38, of Detroit without incident around 6 a.m. Sunday at his home. He remains in police custody.

Detroit police spokesman James Tate confirmed Cobb's arrest. "Sgt. Cobb's arrest is part of an ongoing investigation," Tate said.

Police said Smothers told officers that David Cobb, who was inside the store at the time of the shooting, paid him to kill his wife.

Details weren't immediately available on all of the other slayings he said he's responsible for.

Cobb works with the department's Eastern District. His status with the department is unclear today. A spokesperson at the Southwest District confirmed Cobb is being held and will likely be arraigned on felony charges Tuesday and that Smothers would be arraigned at 8 a.m. today.

Police wouldn't disclose what the charges would be. Maria Miller, spokeswoman for the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office, would not comment.

An arrest warrant was issued April 11 by the 36th District Court for Smothers on charges of first-degree murder, felony murder, assault with intent to murder and firearm offenses stemming from a June 21 shooting in the 17000 block of Gravier in Detroit in which he and an accomplice allegedly shot three people, killing two at an apartment complex.

The accomplice has been convicted of the crimes, according to a sworn affidavit filed April 15 by the FBI with the U.S. District Court in Detroit.

Smothers has two arrests, both in 1999. He was arrested in Wayne County for carrying a concealed weapon. He also was arrested in Oakland County for carrying a concealed weapon and for possessing stolen property. Smothers was sentenced to 1 year in prison for the Wayne County offense and 2 years, 8 months for the Oakland County crimes. He was discharged from his parole in 2003, according to Michigan Department of Corrections records.

Neighbors near Cobb's home on Edlie Circle off East Jefferson said they saw police take Cobb away. They said he walked out of the house without shoes, but police later went inside his home to get them.

Rose Cobb was shot multiple times in the head through a side window of the couple's minivan, police said at the time.

Cobb also had been a Wayne State University Law School student.

Mike Taylor, a third-year law student, said he had shared a class with Cobb the last four semesters and noticed Cobb stopped coming to class about a month ago. Taylor, 24, said he and Cobb sometimes talked about class, but not their personal lives.

Taylor said he knew Cobb's wife had been slain, but said Sunday's arrest surprised him.

"He seemed to be levelheaded," he said. "He seemed to be insightful. He seemed to be well-reasoned."










Police chief: Man suspected in at least 7 contract killings
4/21/2008, 6:04 p.m. ET
By COREY WILLIAMS
The Associated Press
MLive
http://www.mlive.com/newsflash/index.ssf?/base/news52/1208805254150320.xml&storylist=newsmichigan

DETROIT (AP) — A man suspected in the December slaying of a Detroit police sergeant's wife has told investigators he is responsible for at least seven contract killings in less than two years.

Vincent Smothers, 27, has been charged with two counts each of first-degree and felony murder and one count each of assault with intent to murder, being a felon in possession of a firearm and possessing a firearm during a felony.

Two people died and a third was wounded in the June 2007 drug-related shooting. Conviction on the murder charges would carry an automatic penalty of life in prison without parole.

Smothers was arraigned Monday afternoon in Detroit's 36th District Court, where Magistrate Sidney Barthwell Jr. entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.

Barthwell called Smothers "an extreme danger to the community" and ordered him jailed without bond until his preliminary examination May 1.

Following his arrest Saturday in Shelby Township, about 20 miles north of Detroit, Smothers told Detroit homicide investigators about four other cases, including the Dec. 26 shooting death of Rose Cobb, 47, outside an east side pharmacy, Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings said Monday during a news conference.

"He made a living by murder for hire. He was, in plain terms, a hit man," Bully-Cummings said.

Bully-Cummings called Cobb's slaying the day after Christmas an "ambush."

Her husband, Sgt. David Cobb, had driven the couple to the CVS and was inside the pharmacy when she was shot while sitting in their van.

David Cobb was arrested about 6:30 a.m. Sunday at the couple's east side home. No details about his arrest were released by Bully-Cummings. Cobb is expected to be arraigned Tuesday, court officials said.

Investigators have three other suspects who could be charged for their roles in the seven slayings.

"Warrants have been prepared by homicide," Bully-Cummings said. "They are being submitted to the prosecutor's office on every one of the shootings we are aware of and on every one of the individuals that are being implicated as being involved in these homicides."

The Wayne County prosecutor's office said it didn't know if Smothers or David Cobb had retained attorneys, and there was no listing for either man in Detroit.










Alleged 'Hit Man' Arraigned In Killing Of Detroit Officer's Wife
Detroit News
POSTED: 5:28 pm EDT April 21, 2008
UPDATED: 7:20 pm EDT April 21, 2008
http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/15949643/detail.html

DETROIT -- A man who police said confessed to being a "hit man" who killed at least seven people, including the wife of a Detroit police officer, was arraigned Monday in Detroit.

Police said Vincent Smothers, 27, of Shelby Township, claimed that he was hired by Detroit Officer David Cobb to kill Cobb's wife, Rose. Smothers was arrested Saturday night. Cobb was arrested early Sunday morning.

"This is my first time where we've had one individual that says, you know, 'I killed people for a living, and I've killed this many people,'" said Detroit Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings during a news conference Monday announcing the arrests of the alleged hit man and Cobb.

Smothers told police he was hired by Cobb to kill the officer's wife in front of a Detroit CVS store in December.

Rose Cobb, 47, had been shot at least once in the head at an east-side CVS on Jefferson Avenue and was dead at the scene.

Cobb had claimed to be inside the CVS when his wife was shot.

His wife had been shot through the vehicle's window, and nothing appeared to be taken.

Rose Cobb's family had previously sought answers by offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the killer's arrest and conviction.

Smothers has a previous criminal record, including concealed weapons violations and receiving and carrying stolen property.










Detroit cop arrested in shooting death of wife Alleged shooter admits to killing woman in CVS parking lot, 9 others
By BEN SCHMITT and PEGGY WALSH-SARNECKI
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITERS
April 20, 2008
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080420/NEWS02/80420026

A man who says a Detroit police sergeant hired him to kill his wife is expected to be arraigned tomorrow in 36th District Court in Detroit.

Vincent Smothers, 27, was arrested Saturday night in Shelby Township after police received a tip from an informant. He told officers from of the multijurisdictional Violent Crimes Task Force that Sgt. David Cobb hired him to kill Rose Cobb, 47, on Dec. 26 while she was sitting in a vehicle in a CVS parking lot on East Jefferson and Dickerson on Detroit’s east side.

Officers from the Detroit police special response team arrested David Cobb, 38, of Detroit without incident around 6 a.m. today at his east side home. He remains in police custody.

Detroit police spokesman James Tate confirmed Cobb’s arrest. "Sgt. Cobb’s arrest is part of an ongoing investigation," Tate said.

Police said Smothers told officers that David Cobb, who was inside the store at the time of the shooting, paid him to kill his wife. He also confessed to nine other killings, police said. Details of those deaths weren’t immediately available.

David Cobb works with the department’s Eastern District. His status with the department is unclear today. A spokesperson at the Southwest District confirmed David Cobb is being held and will likely be arraigned on felony charges Tuesday and that Smothers would be arraigned at 8 a.m. tomorrow. Police wouldn’t disclose what the charges would be. Officials with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office didn’t return calls.

Smothers has two previous arrests, both in 1999. He was arrested in Wayne County for carrying a concealed weapon. He was also arrested in Oakland County for carrying a concealed weapon and for possessing stolen property. Smothers was sentenced to one year in prison for the Wayne County offense and 2 years, 8 months, for the Oakland County crimes. He was discharged from his parole in 2003, according to Michigan Department of Corrections records.

Neighbors near Cobb’s home on Edlie Circle off East Jefferson said they saw police take Cobb away about 6 a.m. today. They said he walked out of the house without shoes, but police later went inside his home to get them.

Rose Cobb was shot multiple times in the head through a side window of the couple’s minivan, police said at the time. Nothing was taken, and there was no apparent motive for the shooter, who reportedly ran from the scene.

Her family held a vigil in January, and a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest was offered.

"She did not deserve this," Tameeka Gary, who identified Rose Cobb as an aunt, said during the vigil.

Police officials called David Cobb a person of interest but did not name a suspect at the time of the shooting.














Murder for hire plot
WXYZ - Channel 7 News, Detroit
April 20, 2008

Video from: Cloudwriter / Behind the Blue Wall:






Vincent Smothers [hitman hired by Cobb to murder Rose] was arrested in Shelby Township.

























Hit for Hire Takes out DPD Spouse
Killer and Cop Arrested

TV 20 News, Detroit
April 20, 2008
http://www.tv20detroit.com/news/17972879.html

In these times, we are known as a Throw-Away Society as if things now longer have/hold value, Bah ~ Outta here! To re-purpose takes just too much time – best just get rid of it, which is what a DPD officer did in getting rid of his wife.

The real definition of throw-away society is: a human society strongly influenced by consumerism. The term describes a critical view of over-consumption and excessive production of short-lived or disposable items. As a society we’ve begun to apply this term to everything in our lives – including family and community.

Such is the case with David Cobb, a Detroit Police Sergeant that hired a man to kill a wife he longer wanted. Cobb, who as a police officer, swore to serve and protect paid someone to kill his wife. It all came down this past weekend when a killer by the name of Smothers was arrested after receiving a tip from an informant.

We don’t know if it was bragging or confession being good for the soul that led Smothers to tell someone about what he done. Was he/she horrified? Repulsed? or Afraid? All that is known is that police were informed about the unsolved murder of Rose Cobb.

The multi-jurisdictional Violent Crimes Task Force questioned Vincent Smothers, who laid out a very ugly and dark picture as a dealer in death as he confessed to taking 10 lives, including that of Sgt. Cobb’s wife just after Christmas.

Vincent Smothers told police that David Cobb hired him to kill his wife Rose December 26th while she was sitting in their mini-van in the CVS parking lot on East Jefferson and Dickerson. According to police, Smothers said that Cobb was inside the store at the time of the shooting and paid him to kill his wife.

An arrest warrant was issued earlier this month for Smothers on charges of first degree murder, felony murder, assault with intent to murder and firearm offenses stemming from a shooting last June where three people were shot, two of which were killed. Details aren’t available on the other slayings that Smothers says he committed.

Police Sergeant David Cobb was arrested early Sunday morning, but at his point it police won’t disclose what charges will be brought. They only verify that Sgt. Cobb is under arrest, and that the investigation is on-going. It is likely that Cobb is to be arraigned Tuesday on felony charges.










Detroit cop accused of hiring hit man
Francis X. Donnelly
The Detroit News
Sunday, April 20, 2008
http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/articleAID=/20080420/METRO/804200316/&imw=Y

A Detroit police sergeant was charged today with hiring a hit man to kill his wife in December.

Sgt. David Cobb, who works in the department's eastern district, was arrested without incident at his home early Sunday morning, police said.

Hours earlier, police had arrested a man who claimed to be a professional hit man who had killed nine people, including Cobb's wife, Rose.

Rose Cobb, 47, was fatally shot in the head several times Dec. 26 as she sat in the couple's van in the parking lot of a CVS on East Jefferson. David Cobb was inside the store at the time.

Police didn't release the identity of the hit man, 27, who was arrested in Shelby Township late Saturday night.

The hit man told police that David Cobb had paid him to kill his wife.

Details of the other nine murders weren't immediately available.










Michigan Officer Involved Domestic Violence, Renee' Harrington