Updated: Mar 10, 2020
A Wilmington man who fatally shot a pregnant woman and her boyfriend in their car in Stanton in 2018 pleaded guilty late last month to two counts of second-degree murder.
Walter Lolley took the plea shortly before the scheduled start of his trial, court records show. He is expected to be sentenced later this year.
Lolley was extradited from Georgia to Delaware in December 2018, about six and a half months after he killed 30-year-old Isabel Cooper, who was 7 months' pregnant, and her boyfriend, 34-year-old Thessalonias Berry, on Kiamensi Road.
Lolley had been on New Castle County police's radar since shortly after the murders, court documents show, but wasn't publicly identified as a suspect until August. Federal agents arrested Lolley just outside Atlanta a month later.
He's been held at the Howard Young Correctional Institution since his extradition.
According to court documents, Lolley was seen on security footage in the car with the couple shortly before their deaths, and police had DNA evidence linking him to the scene.
Lolley had been with one of the victims at Delaware Park casino before the killings, though the court documents don't specify whether it was Berry or Cooper. The other victim picked them up.
A fourth person was also in the car with the trio before the shootings but told police he'd gotten out by the time the shooting happened.
Through their investigation, detectives obtained security footage that showed Lolley wearing a Nike sweatshirt the night before and on the morning of the killings, court documents said. Investigators later found a bloody Nike sweatshirt with gunshot residue on it near the crime scene.
Court documents said DNA analysis showed the blood belonged to Lolley, but the documents don't explain how Lolley became bloodied that day.
New Castle County police Chief Col. Vaughn M. Bond Jr. initially called the double homicide a "heinous act."
He reiterated that sentiment Tuesday.
“We are pleased that an individual has been held accountable for these heinous crimes," Bond said. “Members of the community worked hand and hand with investigators to help bring closure to the families of these victims.
"Please remember that there are a number of family members of victims that are still looking for this closure.”
Police ask anyone with information regarding the department's open investigations to contact the Criminal Investigations Unit at (302) 395-8110, or the non-emergency number at (302) 573-2800.
Tipsters can also text information anonymously to 847411 with the keyword NCCDE, submit tips online at nccpd.com or call Delaware Crime Stoppers at (800) TIP-3333.
Send story tips or ideas to Isabel Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.org or 302-324-2785. For all things breaking news, follow her on Twitter at @izzihughes_