North Carolina’s “George Zimmerman 2.0” was found guilty of the first-degree murder of an unarmed black man.
The nickname, given by the victim’s attorney, was used to describe the shooter responsible for the senseless death of Kouren-Rodney Bernard Thomas.
Chad Copley testified in Judge Michael O’Foghludha’s courtroom that he was in his Raleigh home when a party in his neighborhood let out. According to Copley, he saw a group of black men outside. The group Copley considered to be “hoodlums,” were allegedly revving their engines and making noise, which forced him to tell them to leave. The 40-year-old claimed the men yelled back and drew their guns on him after claiming to be on the neighboorhood watch.
He went on to tell the operator they seemed to have the “devil in them” and even admitted, “I’m going to kill them,” before hanging up. Time passed when the second call came through to Copley explaining he “fired a warning shot” at the men who ran into a nearby woods when the vigilante threatened, “I have a firearm, Raleigh PD is on the way.” Things took a turn when, apparently, 20-year-old Thomas didn’t appreciate the threat and ran towards Copley, who claimed to shoot him in self-defense.
The problem with the entire story is that none of it was true. The cross-examination shed light on the sensationalized story of a delusional man, who doesn’t even live in a neighborhood with a watch group. Not only that, but physical evidence showed none of Thomas’ group had a weapon.
It took no time for the jury to hit Copley with the guilty charge, which was completed by Judge O’Foghludha’s life without parole sentencing.