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
[Excerpts] 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... 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... [Full article here]
CONFESSION IN SLAYINGS DISPUTED
Police in Wayne court deny lawyer's assertions that accused hit man's statements coerced
The Detroit News
Ed White / Associated Press
June 20, 2009
[Excerpts] A Shelby Township 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... 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... 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... "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." [Full article here]
Previous blog entries:
- [MI] SGT COBB'S WIFE SHOT DEAD IN PARKING LOT- ...One of the videos mentions that David Cobb was formerly charged with harrassment of and solicitation of sex from a minor, but was cleared, and another of the videos announces that Cobb IS now a person of interest in the murder of his wife Rose, but not a suspect.
- [MI] Sgt. Cobb not at vigil for his murdered wife, Rose- "DON'T BE A COWARD. YOU KNOW WHAT YOU DID, AND YOU NEED TO TURN YOURSELF IN. YOU TOOK SOMEONE THAT WE LOVE WITH ALL OUR HEARTS AWAY FROM US. SHE DID NOT DESERVE THIS. TURN YOURSELF IN."
- [MI] Sgt Cobb & hired hitman arrested for murder of Rose Cobb- ...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..
- [MI] Sgt Cobb - arrested in plot that killed his wife Rose, has been released - ..."We don't like it, but we understand the process. The only thing, at this point, that is going to make us happy is for Sgt. Cobb to be charged and put away for a very long time"...
- [MI] Hit man tells how he killed Detroit cop's wife, Rose Cobb - ...Cobb was shot four times in the face at close range...
- [MI] Justice For Rose Cobb, Wife of Detroit Police Sgt. David Cobb - (New Myspace page for Rose)
- [MI] Investigator of Sgt.'s wife - Rose Cobb's - murder warned: "This thing is bigger than you. Trust me." - ...During a 90-minute interview Thursday in Stefani's Royal Oak office, [chief investigator, Detective Ira] 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 said he was interrogating him at police headquarters when [Cmdr. James] 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..."
- [MI] Update on hit-murder of Rose Cobb, wife of Detroit Police Sgt. David Cobb - ...David Cobb was arrested a day after Smothers was, but Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said there was not enough evidence to charge him. Cobb remains free but suspended. He has said through his attorney that he never met Smothers...
- [MI] It's really hard for me to believe Sgt. Cobb's hanging was suicide - Most of the articles from today and yesterday are saying that Detroit Police Sgt. David Cobb "was found dead near a bike path in Dodge Park in Sterling Heights"
- [MI] So maybe Sgt. Cobb's demons, after having Rose murdered, did kill him after all - ...[Detroit Police Sgt. David] Cobb had already schooled [confessed hit man Vincent] 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... 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...
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