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thedutchiedutch

Amanda Renee Cope

24 posts in this topic

Was watching Dateline yesterday about this case and found

this web site with the full transcript of the trial.

This case begs the question whether this poor girls father is guilty or not.

Here is a little inside about the case.

Amanda Renee Cope went to bed a twelve year old little girl, and died a brutal death before her father and sisters awoke in the morning to begin their day.

Amanda was found strangled and raped in her bed Nov. 29, 2001. Her father, Billy Wayne Cope, was jailed the next day on murder and criminal sexual conduct charges.

Thanks to DNA evidence, police later also linked James Edward Sanders, 44, to the case.

James Edward Sanders was released from prison not long before the Cope's lay down to bed that fateful night. When the prosecution realized this, they charged Billy Wayne Cope with conspiring with James Edward Sanders.

They claimed Billy allowed the horrendous acts to be committed upon his daughter.

Police say DNA also links Sanders to the rape of a 60-year-old woman and that he was involved in four home break-ins around the time Amanda Cope was killed.

Police now have added a conspiracy to commit criminal sexual conduct charge against Billy Cope.

But there is no connection between Sanders and Billy Cope, Cope's lawyer, Phil Baity of Fort Mill, said.

Cope's DNA does not match the DNA taken from Amanda Cope, but Sanders' does, Baity said.

Police would not discuss whether Cope's DNA was found on his daughter's body.

"The only scientific evidence in this case implicates Mr. Sanders," Baity said.

Sanders lived less than two blocks from the Copes when Amanda died.

Two months after Amanda Cope's death, her mother, Mary Sue Cope, died of an infection while recovering from major surgery. Two other children in the family have been living with relatives in Mitchell County, N.C.

Edited by thedutchiedutch

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Two months after Amanda Cope's death, her mother, Mary Sue Cope, died of an infection while recovering from major surgery.

Did the police blame that on the father as well?

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Did the police blame that on the father as well?

Yeah no kidding eh. Seems like because they could not find any break and enter evidence, the father must have been involved in this tragic crime.

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What a shocking set of events - I'm recanting the rest of my statements after checking out the transcipts on that link though, it appears the father did do it.

Edited by libstaK

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The only thing I found strange was that Amanda was analy raped with (most likely) a broom according to the

tesimony of the coroner. That was not mentioned in date line, only that a broom with dna was never located. You have to believe that Cope gleaned that

info from the interogators and used it in his reenactment of the crime, if you want to believe him innocent. I would like to know if Sanders did something similiar to his 60 year old victim. I believe Cope is innocent btw and Sanders acted alone.

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The only thing I found strange was that Amanda was analy raped with (most likely) a broom according to the

tesimony of the coroner. That was not mentioned in date line, only that a broom with dna was never located. You have to believe that Cope gleaned that

info from the interogators and used it in his reenactment of the crime, if you want to believe him innocent. I would like to know if Sanders did something similiar to his 60 year old victim. I believe Cope is innocent btw and Sanders acted alone.

Did you look at the evidence in the link? Amanda was not just raped this one time, there was evidence that the condition in her anal and vaginal areas were "chronic" aka: due to repeated rapes muscles in both areas had relaxed/stretched.

She had NO evidence of residual hymen after this night, inspite of the fact that five years previously an examination showed an intact hymen. The defence tried to argue that she may have been born without a hymen - which blatantly goes against the evidence of her examination 5 years previous. If she had only been raped the once- that night, then there should have been pieces of hymen/residual tissue somewhere in the vicinity - there was none, the hymen was just gone and no hint of where it had been remained aka: that area had at some point previously healed - which all leads to evidence multiple assualts/molestation over a period of time.

I thought at first, he must have been railroaded but on balance I think now he is guilty.

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Makes me wanna cry! :cry:

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Did you look at the evidence in the link? Amanda was not just raped this one time, there was evidence that the condition in her anal and vaginal areas were "chronic" aka: due to repeated rapes muscles in both areas had relaxed/stretched.

She had NO evidence of residual hymen after this night, inspite of the fact that five years previously an examination showed an intact hymen. The defence tried to argue that she may have been born without a hymen - which blatantly goes against the evidence of her examination 5 years previous. If she had only been raped the once- that night, then there should have been pieces of hymen/residual tissue somewhere in the vicinity - there was none, the hymen was just gone and no hint of where it had been remained aka: that area had at some point previously healed - which all leads to evidence multiple assualts/molestation over a period of time.

I thought at first, he must have been railroaded but on balance I think now he is guilty.

That is shocking. No, have not read the whole evidence/transcript yet. Like Mentalcase mentioned, makes me wanna cry as well. No wonder the prosecution keeps pondering that Billy is guilty as sin. Very, very sad case.

Edited by thedutchiedutch

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I thank God that you people aren't on this mans jury. He didnt kill his daughter and there is no evidence that he did other then the forced confessions that the faulty police department corded him to do. You people could not say that if you were under scrutiny like that for hours at a time being manipulated by the police and everything you said was twisted and made out to fit their theory that you wouldn't do the same. They lied about everything because they didnt want to face the public that they had made a serious mistake about an innocent man and that is why I absolutely do not trust law i forcemeat at all because they can do and say whatever they want to you and about you and always get away with it. This man is innocent.

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Somehow I think Believer of innocents is a friend of the defendant.

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Somehow I think Believer of innocents is a friend of the defendant.

Whyever would you think that? :innocent:

Seriously, though, with that physical evidence - which is horrifying to even contemplate, how could you not think he's guilty.

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This case is probably the strangest case I've ever come across.

What bothers me the most is that there's DNA from the other man, but Cope's confession(s) didn't implicate the other man. So, either we believe Cope's confession(s), or we believe the DNA.

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DNA doesn't lie.

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This case is probably the strangest case I've ever come across.

What bothers me the most is that there's DNA from the other man, but Cope's confession(s) didn't implicate the other man. So, either we believe Cope's confession(s), or we believe the DNA.

Then there's this way, which is something that just occurred to me. Her exams showed chronic sexual abuse, but the only DNA that was found came from Sanders, at least for that particular time. For all we know, Dad and Sanders had some kind of deal or something going on, which might be why Dad didn't implicate him, because it would make him an accessory, regardless.

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That's an interesting suggestion, draugr, but so far, I'm not aware of any evidence that Cope and Sanders even knew each other.

I fail to see a motive for such an "arrangement" between those two men, and Greg McCrary- a former FBI criminal profiler- testified that he didn't know of such a case.

The main thing is, there needs to be evidence and I don't know of any.

I don't dismiss the ME's opinion re: chronic abuse, but if I follow the evidence re: the murder, it doesn't support the confession, which is actually the definition of a false confession.

Authorities have to be very careful during their interrogations not to inadvertantly feed POI's details of the crime so that they can be sure that what they're being told is true and accurate.

It appears that that could have likely happened in this case because before taking Cope down for questing, authorities told Cope that they wanted to talk to him about what the ME found.

The main thing is, authorities later learned that the confession was blatantly false, but regardless, they still considered it a confession.

In actuality, they never got one.

I'm still reading through the trial testimony (over 3,100 pages!, so it's time consuming :td: ), and I'm looking forward to learning as much as I can about this case.

Edited by regi
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Re: what information investigators had- and how much they had- before the false confession (whether Cope's guilty or not, the confession itself is false), from the trial transcript, starting on page 571, the ME testified that after the autopsy- which was performed on the same day as the death), he discussed the findings with the forensic team, Pathology, coroner, and the investigators, and the following is what he reported as his findings and they're written as they appear in the transcript:

"Amanda was assaulted vaginally, anally, and over her entire body with numerous bruises, injuries, hemorrhages that occurred. The assaults were of extreme vicious nature to cause the amount of rectal bleeding that we saw in the rectum hemorrhages. That I described that this was done with a foreign object rather than most likely than not a penis, but a foreign object with sufficient force to cause the deep internal hemorrhages that occurred."

The point is that that's the premise under which the confession was obtained... and while I haven't yet listened to the confession, the confession apparently reflects what the ME told investigators re: his findings.

(Of course, I realize that if Cope was an accomplice, then he would have been of that same knowledge, regardless.)

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Makes me wanna cry! :cry:

Me too, just awful :(

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It's apparent that investigators relied heavily on the opinion of the ME during their interrogation of Cope, primarily that the injuries to Amanda were caused by a foreign object which was an opinion that the "confession" supported.

However, testimony in defense cross-examination revealed what I consider the 'bottom line' opinions from the ME:

On pg. 590

"A penis can perforate or actually tear a vaginal wall, yes, sir.

Pg. 598, in reference to possible causes of the inflammation in the vagina:

"A number of things (could cause inflammation) ...dousing... to use of tampons... to inserting foreign objects to.., you know, possibly reaction to continual bleeding if she was having abnormal periods."

Starting on pg. 591 of trial testimony

Q Now you can not say with a reasonable degree of medical certainty that Amanda Cope had ever been sexually abused prior to this horrible thing that happened to her?

A Not to a reasonable degree, no, sir.

Pg. 601

Q So you can't say today to a reasonable degree of medical certainty that this inflamed cell, the patch of flamed cells you found in her anus was caused by penetration of sexual abuse?

A No, sir. I can not.*

*I don't know the page of transcript, but I must add here that the ME also testified that repeated use of enemas could cause such inflammation. I find that interesting because he'd also stated that he found it unusual that the relative area was clear. (My wording.)

Pg. 603

Q So you can't tell the ladies and gentlemen of the jury today to a reasonable degree of medical certainty that the reason that Amanda Cope didn't have a hymen was the result of sexual abuse or sexual activity?

A No, sir. I can not.

So far, I've not found any evidence against Cope apart from the confession, and the state admitted that they had no evidence that Cope and Sanders had ever had any association with one another.

Very, very troubling case.

Edited by regi

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Correction in above post, line re: page 601, should say "caused by penetration OR sexual abuse."

I think I should explain my line of thinking in that post because it's actually two-fold.

On page 564, the ME testified that "there was no evidence of any infections or parasites to cause irritation", but as illustrated above, in further testimony, the ME stated that there are other possibilities that could account it, so until all other possibilities are excluded, it's my opinion that the notion that Amanda was chronically abused, or that sexual abuse had occurred before shouldn't be accepted.

Even then- if all other possibilities could be excluded- it still wouldn't tell us where the abuse came from.

I'm only a third of the way through the trial transcript and there's a lot more information to review, so what I'm posting are my opinions on what I've reviewed so far.

Edited by regi

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What the cops didn't want to admit they screwed up.

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What the cops didn't want to admit they screwed up.

...and neither would the prosecutors.

The results of the DNA should have been a big-time game changer in the investigation because at that point, it was shown that the confession they got isn't what happened...everything they believed about the crime- including Cope's involvement- should have been called into question, and I don't see that it was.

What I'm seeing is that the state had no evidence of Cope's involvement, nor could the state even offer a theory of Cope's involvement.

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This case was appealed to the Supreme Court back in November. Does anyone know the outcome of that appeal, if one has been reached?

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Posted (edited)

This case was appealed to the Supreme Court back in November. Does anyone know the outcome of that appeal, if one has been reached?

I haven't located any report of a decision, but someone please tell me the following didn't actually happen:

"In 2009, the S.C. Court of Appeals did an unusual flip-flop, issuing two contradictory opinions on Cope's guilt.

In the first opinion, issued in April 2009, the court overturned a key jury finding of conspiracy between Cope and Sanders for lack of evidence but let stand a murder and criminal sexual conduct conviction against Cope.

Then, realizing the murder and sex charges against Cope could not stand without a finding that Cope conspired with Sanders, the Court of Appeals reversed itself and in October 2009 issued a new opinion, reinstating the conspiracy conviction."

:td::no::td:

http://www.charlotte...-murdering.html

Edited by regi

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The above link doesn't work, so I tried to locate the article, but had no luck.

The following articles contain the most recent info. I could locate on the case.

http://www.wbtv.com/story/23277439/billy-wayne-cope-life-sentence-amanda-cope-death-murder-supreme-court

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/08/28/4271342/life-term-upheld-in-childs-death.html#.UtvnDbRMGHs

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