On December 23, 2013, one of the most notorious crimes in America’s history took place. An innocent girl named Alianna Defreeze was walking home from the bus stop when she was kidnapped and thrown into the trunk of her abductor’s car. This man, Brian Cooke, is widely known as the Beast of Baltimore, because he killed Alianna Defreeze, dismembered her body and disposed of it in trash bags all around Baltimore City in an attempt to hide his crime…
How the murder took place
Alianna Defreeze was a 17-year-old on her way home from work when she was fatally shot. She was in the process of getting her driver’s license, and she had just finished her first day of training at the restaurant where she worked.
As she walked through a courtyard near her apartment complex, Marcus Smith approached Alianna and shot at her multiple times with a handgun before fleeing. He turned himself in less than an hour later and has been charged with first-degree murder.
Statement from Victim’s Father
Mr. Patterson, I am the father of Alianna Defreeze and I would like you to tell me what happened on October 10th, 2017. My daughter was a beautiful young lady with her whole life ahead of her when she was brutally murdered by your client. The court is considering an appeal for your client’s death sentence so I feel it is important that we all know what he did.
I will never forget how happy and alive my daughter looked the day before she died. She had just received a promotion at work and was looking forward to celebrating with her family. We were all at home that night when we heard the news that my daughter had been killed in cold blood only hours after getting off work.
Statement from Dominique Cunningham’s Mother
I will never forget the last time I saw my daughter. It was a Sunday, and she had just finished packing her bag for a week-long stay in Philadelphia. She was so happy, telling me about how excited she was to see her cousins and go shopping on Market Street.
She pauses and then continues with tears streaming down her face, When I saw the post about my daughter’s death on Facebook, I thought it was some kind of sick joke. That’s when we found out that Dominique Cunningham had shot and killed Alianna Defreeze. We don’t know what happened but all we do know is that our family is shattered from this tragedy.
The killer’s background, quotes from friends and family
The man who killed Alianna Defreeze, whose name is not being released because of the provisions in the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment in May. The man’s mother says that he had suffered years of abuse and neglect at home before becoming a victim of sexual exploitation outside.
His friends say they knew something bad would happen when they heard he had been hanging out with gang members. His own lawyer said his client should have received a harsher sentence because all he did was pick up a knife. He needs help, said one friend who spoke anonymously for fear of retaliation from gang members.
The Killer’s Defense Attorney’s Argument
The killer of 17-year-old high school student Alianna Defreeze, who was paralyzed when a stray bullet hit her spine as she drove on MLK Boulevard in 2017, has appealed the death sentence he received. The killer’s defense attorney argued that the defendant was responsible for just one person’s death and should not receive the punishment for killing two people.
They also argue that their client is entitled to have the trial evidence heard again by a jury due to procedural defects in the earlier proceedings. They argue that those procedural defects make his current sentence unconstitutional and should be reversed with regard to law and fact. In this case, jurors found him guilty of capital murder and sentenced him to death without a unanimous decision.
The Prosecutor’s Argument for the Death Penalty
In the first trial, jurors heard from the prosecutor that Williams and his friend, Johnnie Terry, had gotten into an argument with Alianna Defreeze over a drug deal gone bad. Once they were at the park, Williams told Terry to keep watch while he went back and retrieved a gun. Williams returned and shot Defreeze in the head as she was sitting on a bench.
The prosecutor noted that there was no evidence of any struggle or physical contact between Williams and Defreeze before the shooting; rather, she was sitting on the bench watching her daughter play when he shot her in cold blood. In addition to killing her, Williams also injured two other children who were playing nearby.
Why some Americans prefer the death penalty over other punishments
The American public is divided on the issue of capital punishment. While those who prefer the death penalty often believe that it is an efficient deterrent, many Americans believe that this sentence should be reserved for cases with a lot of evidence and that a less severe sentence would suffice in most cases.
Though the verdict was originally handed down in September 2016, there has been no word on whether or not prosecutors intend to pursue an appeal. But even if they don’t, what happened to Alianna Defreeze remains unclear.