Jurors in the 18th District Court deliberated about 1 1/2 hours Friday before finding Cleburne resident Nico Cogdill guilty of capital murder. The verdict gives Cogdill an automatic sentence of life in prison without parole.
Cogdill, 23, stood trial for the Sept. 21, 2011, death of Rio Vista resident Richard “Ricky” Eugene Warren. Jurors found one of Cogdill’s co-conspirators, Chad Bukowski, 26, of Burleson, guilty of capital murder in November and sentenced him to life without parole. The third suspect, Paul Milne, 27, of Cleburne, awaits trial on the same charge.
The three, who had only met a few days beforehand, broke into Warren’s mobile home that night intending to rob and kill him, prosecutors said during Cogdill’s trial.
Bukowski, according to evidence entered in his and Cogdill’s trials, was the only one of the three who knew Warren before the night in question. Bukowski and his girlfriend lived at Warren’s home for a time until Warren’s mother and sister became concerned that Bukowski was taking advantage of and stealing from Warren and made him move out.
The plan was to steal Warren’s TV, guitar, laptop and other property to sell for drug money and for Cogdill and Milne to kill Warren to assist their chances of gaining entry into the Aryan Brotherhood, a white supremacist prison gang, prosecutors argued. Bukowski is, or at least claimed to be a member of the Aryan Brotherhood, or know members, prosecutors said.
According to testimony and evidence entered during Cogdill’s trial, Bukowski gathered and stole items from Warren’s home while Cogdill and Milne entered his bedroom, where he was asleep, and beat him to death with a large crescent wrench.
Prosecutors entered the wrench as evidence, partially covered in Warren’s blood, and graphic crime scene and autopsy photos of Warren’s face and head wounds during Cogdill’s trial. They also entered the shirt Cogdill told police he wore that night, which tested positive for traces of Warren’s blood.