Columbia Man Convicted of Murder, Conspiracy to Commit Armed Robbery and Attempted Armed Robbery

(COLUMBIA, SC)  Roderquiz Rozelle Cook of Columbia, S.C. (DOB 1/14/1981) was convicted on April 12, 2013 in Lexington County General Sessions Court of Conspiracy to Commit Armed Robbery, Attempted Armed Robbery and Murder.

On October 13, 2010, while working as the night manager of a McDonald’s in Batesburg-Leesville, Cook arranged to have his cousin and a friend stage an armed robbery of the restaurant.  Cook instructed them on details ranging from what clothing to wear, to use of a gun, to the plan.  At the designated time, he told employee Willie Jennings to take out the trash.  Cook instructed the co-defendants to point the gun at Jennings and walk him back to the restaurant where Cook would be waiting to give them the money.  Jennings did not come back into the restaurant willingly, as Cook had planned, and was fatally shot.

Judge Lee Alford sentenced Cook to thirty (30) years on murder, which he will have to serve day for day for thirty (30) years.  He also received twenty (20) years on the attempted armed robbery charge and five (5) years on the conspiracy charge, the maximum for each offense, to be served concurrently with the murder conviction.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant Deputy Attorney General Heather S. Weiss and Assistant Attorney General Nancy Cote.  The investigation was conducted by the Batesburg-Leesville Police Department, with assistance from the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office.

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