According to a report by Daily Crime on Wednesday, September 27, 2023, the gruesome crime involved a fatal shooting, the wrapping of the victim’s body in plastic, and the chilling act of placing her remains inside a refrigerator, accompanied by a note that ominously stated, “I don’t trust you.”
On Tuesday, Providence County Superior Court Justice Robert D. Krause handed down two consecutive life sentences to Nathan Cooper, along with two additional 10-year prison terms, marking the culmination of a six-day trial that exposed the shocking details of this heinous act.
Cooper was found guilty by a jury in Providence County of multiple charges, including second-degree murder, discharging a firearm during a crime of violence resulting in death, and two counts of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.
The tragic events unfolded on March 16, 2022, when Cooper shot and killed Maddox inside his apartment on Park Avenue in Elmwood.
The single gunshot, which pierced her chest, would forever alter the course of their lives.
However, it wasn’t until March 22, several days later, that members of Maddox’s family took action, flagging down an officer from the Providence Police Department.
They conveyed their grave suspicions that Cooper had murdered Maddox and was concealing her lifeless body within his apartment.
Upon entering Cooper’s residence, the police were confronted with a grim tableau. Inside the apartment, they discovered a .38 caliber revolver and a shotgun.
Yet, the most horrific discovery awaited them in the bedroom.
The refrigerator, having been relocated from the kitchen, was found tied shut with a cord.
When opened, it revealed a horrifying sight: Maddox’s lifeless body, meticulously wrapped in layers of plastic wrap and bedding.
A subsequent autopsy would confirm the grim reality—Maddox’s cause of death was attributed to a single gunshot wound to her chest, and the manner of death was unequivocally determined to be a homicide.
Throughout the trial, Cooper maintained a dubious narrative, claiming that he had accidentally shot Maddox after she splashed water on him.
However, he provided no plausible explanation for his failure to call 911 or his subsequent actions of wrapping her body and placing it inside the refrigerator.
Justice Krause, unswayed by Cooper’s baseless account, pointed to a trove of text messages that revealed his profound animosity towards Maddox.
In one message, he described her as “the worst chick I’ve ever run into in my life,” while in another, he ominously predicted, “I swear on my mother this ain’t going to end well” in reference to their relationship.
Prosecutors presented compelling evidence during the trial, indicating that Cooper had deliberately shot Maddox while she was taking a shower in the bathroom.
He then remained within the confines of his apartment for several days, reportedly using drugs, before enlisting a friend’s help to acquire plastic wrap.
With a chilling deliberateness, Cooper proceeded to wrap Maddox’s lifeless body, transferring the refrigerator from the kitchen to his bedroom for his macabre purpose.
Alongside her remains, he placed a note that sent shivers down the spines of those who would later discover it: “I don’t trust you.”
The sentencing hearing, marked by the gravity of the crime and the emotional toll it had taken on Maddox’s family, concluded with a haunting moment.
As Cooper was led out of the courtroom, a member of Maddox’s grieving family shouted, “We’ll see you in hell,” a visceral expression of their anguish and the profound impact this horrifying tragedy had on their lives.
The case of Nathan Cooper stands as a stark reminder of the darkness that can lurk within individuals and the devastating consequences it can unleash.
Justice has been served, but the scars of this gruesome murder will forever haunt the memory of those who knew and loved Sherbert “Strawberry” Maddox.
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