PHOENIX, AZ (November 20, 2013) – Cordell Lamar Jude (D.O.B. 1/10/1990) is guilty of Manslaughter for recklessly causing the death of Daniel Adkins after a verbal altercation in a parking lot last year, according to a jury verdict delivered today. The jury found Jude not guilty of 2nd Degree Murder. He faces a possible prison term ranging from seven to 21 years when he is sentenced on January 8, 2014.
“Despite the defendant’s assertion of self-defense, his actions did not meet the narrow provisions under Arizona law which allow citizens to use deadly force when immediately necessary to protect themselves against another’s use or attempted use of unlawful deadly physical force,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “Today’s verdict also demonstrates the jury’s dedication to weighing all the evidence to reach a conclusion about the specific crime to convict the defendant of,” he added.
At around 7:45 p.m. on April 3rd, 2012, Daniel Adkins was walking with his dog through a parking lot of a Taco Bell restaurant located near 51st Avenue and Baseline Road. Cordell Jude was driving his vehicle in the restaurant’s drive-through lane when Adkins stepped in front of the car, forcing Jude to slam on his brakes to avoid hitting him. Adkins began yelling at Jude and struck the vehicle with what Jude later said he believed was a bat or similar object. Jude told police that Adkins was preparing to take another swing at him, causing him to fear for his life. Jude then shot Adkins once with a gun he was carrying in his car, and then immediately called police. No bat or object of similar size was found at the scene.
On July 26, 2012, the Grand Jurors of Maricopa County delivered an indictment charging Jude with one count of 2nd Degree Murder. The crime of Manslaughter is a lesser included offense of 2nd Degree Murder.