Sam Cooper trial reveals possible crime video

Sam Cooper, Jr.

March 25, 2010 2:06:49 PM PDT
On Thursday, prosecutors showed surveillance video in court of what they say was one of Sam Cooper's alleged crimes.Cooper is accused of killing five people during a violent crime spree that spanned more than a year.

The surveillance video quality isn't great, but what it shows is still very disturbing.

"It was relatively quick, very fast," City-County Bureau of Identification Agent Peter Bohler said.

According to authorities, it shows how Cooper, seen wearing a hooded sweatshirt, entered the store and murdered Tariq Hussain.

The surveillance video is from inside Bobby's Grocery on Garner Road on October 14, 2007, around 9:49 a.m. It shows Hussain on the lower left hand of the screen sitting at a cash register.

Then, all of a sudden, a man armed with a handgun appears and points the weapon at Hussain. A few seconds later, Hussain is seen holding a gun in his right hand, apparently while on the phone, then he falls out of view.

Authorities say Hussain was shot twice and the video shows how after the shooting, the man reaches over the victim and grabs money from the cash register, as well as other items, before leaving the store.

Eyewitness Michelle Tharpe told jurors she had stopped by the convenience store that morning to buy a soda and instead discovered the body of a man she knew as "Smiley".

"When I turned around I was at the end of the aisle, but you could see directly behind the counter and the owner was lying right behind the counter with blood everywhere," she said.

Cooper could face the death penalty if convicted.

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