Florence man sentenced to life in prison


Kevin Lee Cooper was arrested in 2019 for murder of his mother

July 3, 2020 —  Kevin Lee Cooper, 62 of Florence, was sentenced to life in prison yesterday after pleading guilty to killing his mother, Anola Beth, in her home on Munsel Creek Drive in 2019. 

Cooper pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in Lane County Circuit Court this past June, avoiding a trial scheduled for August. 

The homicide was first reported to the Florence Police Department (FPD) on March 2, 2019, when Anola Beth was found unresponsive in the home’s garage. 

Initially, Cooper stated that he had found Anola Beth there, which Cooper’s girlfriend corroborated. But as the investigation continued, his girlfriend recanted her story, stating that Cooper had actually bludgeoned his mother to death inside the home and moved the body to the garage. Cooper’s girlfriend stated that she had helped him dispose of bloodied clothing in the woods.

The FPD investigation was assisted by Lane County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police’s Forensic Division. 

Cooper was arrested under the charge of murder and was initially lodged in the Florence City Jail before transference to the Lane County Jail.

This June, Cooper pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, which is defined as an intentional killing that was not premeditated. In Oregon, it falls under Measure 11, which applies mandatory minimum prison sentences with no possibility for reduction in sentence. 

Cooper will be eligible for parole in 25 years.

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