Florence man arrested for mother’s murder

March 6, 2019 — Florence resident Kevin Lee Cooper, 61, was arrested on Saturday, March 2, for the murder of his mother, Anola Beth, aged 85. Cooper was arraigned on the murder charge on Monday, though details regarding the incident and official cause of death have not been released by the Lane County District Attorney’s office.

The homicide was first reported to the Florence Police Department (FPD) on Saturday at 10:30 a.m., with officers responding to a call of a deceased body at the victim’s home at 4135 Munsel Creek Drive, a quiet neighborhood in north Florence.

The investigation was conducted by FPD, with assistance from Lane County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police. The Oregon State Police Forensic Division worked throughout Saturday and into the night gathering evidence in and around the home, continuing Sunday morning with the home’s garage, where the victim had been discovered, with further evidence gathering taking place inside a fifth-wheel parked in the victim’s driveway, where it is believed Cooper resided.

Cooper was arrested under the charge of murder and was initially lodged in the Florence City Jail but has since been transferred to the Lane County Jail.

Cooper has a history of multiple arrests, including a New Year’s Eve incident in 2005 involving three people which led to multiple charges including assault, felony possession of a firearm, menacing, pointing a firearm at another, driving under the influence and an attempt to elude the police. He was sentenced to 100 months in prison for the incident.

Since then, Cooper has been arrested for several instances of driving under the influence, including in December, when he spent 30 days in the Florence City Jail.

His last noted address was that of his mother’s on Munsel Creek Drive.

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