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Life sentence affirmed by state Supreme Court’s refusal — Cook will not see parole for 2002 shooting of Durr

The Mississippi Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal in a Brookhaven murder committed 16 years ago.

The high court will let stand last August’s lower court decision upholding the sentence of life without parole for Jerrard T. Cook, who pleaded guilty to capital murder in the June 18, 2002 shooting death of 18-year-old Marvin Durr.

The sentence was revisited after the 2012 U.S. Supreme Court case of Miller v. Alabama, in which the justices established that “mandatory life without parole on those under the age of 18 at the time of their crimes violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on ‘cruel and unusual punishment.’”

Cook was 17 at the time of the murder. His accomplice, Cearic Barnes, 18 at the time of the murder, pleaded guilty to murder and was also sentenced to life without parole.

After the Miller decision, Cook was given a new sentencing hearing on Aug. 8, 2017, but the judge found he was not entitled to parole eligibility. Thursday’s Supreme Court refusal to hear Cook’s latest appeal upholds that decision.

Jerrard T. Cook