A former Alabama state trooper charged with his girlfriend's murder is a free man.
Joe Duncan, 57, served a 25-year-sentnece for killing his girlfriend who was also a state trooper. She was sitting in her patrol car near Selma when Duncan shot her.
"I have not done anything."
That was the profession Joe Duncan, Jr. made shortly after being arrested for capital murder.
At the time, he was an Alabama state trooper accused of killing his girlfriend, Elizabeth Cobb. She had just recently become a trooper herself when the two started dating.
Cobb's cousin, Judy Keith, said today over the phone that Cobb "met this guy and thought he loved her and they were planning a wedding all was well and good."
That is, until October 1987 when Cobb was killed, shot in the head three times while sitting behind the wheel of her patrol car.
Cobb had taken out a $350,000 dollar life insurance policy that named Duncan as the beneficiary. Prosecutors argued Duncan killed her for the money, pointing out he was twice divorced and behind in child support payments.
Duncan's first trial ended with a conviction and a sentence of death, but the case was overturned on appeal. His second trial ended with a hung jury.
That's when the state offered Duncan a plea deal: 25 years in prison.
Duncan's sentence ended Sunday, Oct. 14, much to the dismay of Cobb's family.
"It's frightening to think he's out walking around and he's cold blooded," Keith said. "And it's kind of upsetting . There's absolutely no reason he should have been let out."
But Duncan's attorney Henry Pitts points out that his client served his time, every day of it because he was never granted parole.
"I do think he has paid his debt to society. But I do empathize with the loss of Elizabeth Cobb's family… and I realize nothing can ever be done to replace that loss," Pitts said.
Pitts says while Duncan was in prison, he became a religious man, wrote three Christian books and took up painting wildlife. But when asked if Duncan had ever expressed any remorse for Cobb's death, or apologized to her family, Pitts says he was not aware of that.
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