An Arlington man has been sentenced to 27 years in prison after shooting and killing the wrong person while attempting to target his child’s mother’s new boyfriend.
Kendell Jerrell Morris, 26, made the journey from Houston, Texas to Arlington on May 4, 2020 with the intent of killing his child’s new boyfriend, but tragically murdered the wrong individual instead.
Tarrant County authorities announced on Wednesday that Morris had been convicted of murder and subsequently handed the lengthy sentence. The victim of the shooting was 24-year-old Robert Cooley III, who was not the intended target.
Prosecutors stated that Morris drove over 250 miles from his Houston home to an Arlington residence where he believed his child’s mother’s new boyfriend lived. On the night of the incident, Morris mistakenly identified Cooley as the target and opened fire, resulting in Cooley’s death.
According to reports, Morris had never met the new boyfriend in person. However, Morris and the new boyfriend had engaged in several contentious conversations over the phone prior to Cooley’s tragic demise, according to the Arlington Police Department’s probable cause affidavit.
Multiple eyewitnesses informed the police that Morris was seen driving a white Altima that was present at the scene of the crime. Morris was apprehended by a trooper from the Texas State Police shortly after the shooting, and authorities discovered an AR-15 rifle inside his vehicle.
The jury’s guilty verdict and subsequent sentencing highlight the criminal justice system’s commitment to ensuring individuals are held responsible for their actions. The trial prominently emphasized the seriousness of the crime committed and the tragic consequences suffered by an uninvolved victim. This case serves as a poignant reminder of the immeasurable toll that purposeless violence exacts on our communities