A Little Rock federal jury sentenced two men for scheming to kill a federal witness following merely more than six hours of consideration. Donald Smith, 37, and Samuel Sherman, 38, underwent trial on numerous arraignments in the gunning death of Suzen Cooper, 44, in 2016. The men were accused in 2019 of conspiracy to perpetrate witness tampering that resulted in death.
Conspiring With Racheal Cooper
Prosecutors claimed Smith, Sherman, and Cooper’s ex-sister-in-law, Racheal Cooper, concocted a plan to sell cocaine and methamphetamine and that Cooper was a private tipster who had bought meth from Sherman. Racheal Cooper was initially indicted with capital murder in Hot Spring County. She then pleaded guilty to an arraignment of hampering apprehension for which she has been imprisoned for five years of a 25-year sentence.
The two men were sentenced to life imprisonment. To add, the prosecution accused Smith of murdering Cooper to hinder her from providing testimony against Sherman. Smith and Sherman were charged with plotting from January 2007 to November 2016 to possess with the intention to disseminate the aforementioned drugs. They were also accused of wielding a weapon, which was a .22-caliber gun, linked with a drug-trafficking crime that resulted in murder.
Cooper Was Buried
To encapsulate the case of the government, Assistant US Attorney Anne Garder summarized a series of text messages and phone calls between Racheal Cooper, Smith, Sherman, and other individuals in the overnight hours of September 26, 2016, and September 27, 2016. This was the evening that Suzen Cooper was fatally gunned. She was then hidden underground in a field along Grigsby Ford Road.
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