“Cooper’s Troopers” take to the streets in Oak Harbor in response to release of suspect in Chris Cooper’s injuries and death

Author:BillB

“Cooper’s Troopers” in front of Oak Harbor City Hall on Saturday evening in Oak Harbor

Starting at 8 PM on Saturday evening, people calling themselves “Cooper’s Troopers” began a vigil / protest in front of the Oak Harbor City Hall.  Their stated main intent: to express dissatisfaction with Island County prosecutor Gregg Banks’ decision to release Jason Ellis from jail last Monday. Ellis and Chris Cooper had been in a physical altercation in Oak Harbor on November 17th. City of Oak Harbor police arrested Ellis on Saturday, November 24th in conjunction with that altercation. On Thursday, November 27th, three days after Banks ordered Ellis released from jail, Chris Cooper died of head injuries.

 

“Cooper’s Troopers”, about 20 of whom were present around 10 PM, maintained that Banks’ decision to release Ellis was folly. They also expressed concern that the Oak Harbor police had failed to act quickly enough on evidence which they claimed to have provided to the police, including pictures of Jason Ellis’ bruised knuckles on the same night he and Cooper had fought. They also claimed  that City of Oak Harbor police had taken days to figure out how to view the electronic file of relevant video which had been taken on Chris Cooper’s cell phone and had instead initially relied only on the audio portion of that information, which did not correctly relate the full scope of events that had transpired on November 17th when the two men fought.

Cooper’s Troopers also expressed a great deal of support for Mayor Dudley, who had visited Chris Cooper while he was hospitalized. They were, however, very unhappy with local police, who, they say, had promised to travel to Harborview Medical Center to document Chris Cooper’s injuries via photographic evidence, but never showed up.

Wrist bands are part of a fund-raising effort to help defray hospitalization costs for Chris Cooper.

Some demonstrators had made signs to express support for Chris Cooper. Many of them held battery-powered candles. Passing vehicles often honked their horns to show their support. The demonstration was planning to move to Pioneer Way around 2 AM to the intersection of SE Pioneer Way and SE City Beach Road, where they say is near where the altercation between Ellis and Cooper took place.

When asked about Chris Cooper’s death, Mayor Scott Dudley indicated that the City of Oak Harbor had sent additional relevant information to Gregg Banks’ office on Friday, 30 November. The Mayor also defended the arrest of Jason Ellis that City of Oak Harbor police had made on Saturday 24 November.

Mayor Dudley and one of Cooper’s Troopers, Jason Youngsman, have indicated that a witness exists who claims to have seen the altercation between Ellis and Cooper. Youngsman also added that he had at first been skeptical of the witness until the witness accurately described to Youngsman some articles of clothing known to have been worn that night by one of the men. Youngsman is a Cooper family friend.

Dudley said that at the time of Ellis’ arrest, police believed a crime had been committed, that they had enough evidence to arrest Ellis, and that seeking Greg Banks’ prior permission to arrest Ellis was not a factor in their decision to do so.

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60 comments

  1. avatar

    From what I understand it was Cooper that was the aggressor and Ellis picked the wrong person to confront.

    A sad story none the less…

    1. avatar

      The person who commented above: wrong. Even IF the aggressor was Mr. Cooper how come Jason Elis left him there dying on the street with out calling the cops and reporting the incident? Answer that question.

      1. avatar

        Under state law you are not required to render assistance if you choose not to. There is also the fact that the victim could have been concious at the end of the fight, and later collapsed while walking home. This would explain why he was found with his hands in his pockets. So if he was able to walk then the other person certainly isn’t under any obligation to render aid. Besides if you were accosted by somebody, and were unaware of any major injuries, would you render aid to the attacker? The truth is that nobody really knows what happened that night except for the two men in question. Everything else is hearsay, and has likely been altered in the retelling. Our country has a tradition of innocent until proven guilty. Its about time we remembered that instead of baying for blood, or jumping to conclusions.

  2. avatar

    From the news report Mr Ellis did not know. As soon as he heard that the person was severely injured he called the police department and turned himself in.

    “Ellis later heard that someone had been found unconscious and injured downtown; he called the police to inquire whether the injured person was the man he hit. Banks said the police didn’t have a suspect until Ellis essentially turned himself in.”

    Obviously after the confrontation Mr Ellis left immediately and did not know what happened to Mr Cooper or the extent of his injuries.

    We do not know if Mr Ellis would have rendered aid or not if he had known of the severity of the injuries. From the reports in the paper he did not know how severely injured the person was.

  3. avatar

    The person above- If a person is down and there is no movement, you call for help. That’s common sense. Either way, Cooper is dead, and Ellis is to blame.

    1. avatar

      Are the facts incorrect in the Whidbey News Times?

      Here is what the Whidbey News Times is quoting the prosecutor as saying:

      “Island County Prosecutor Greg Banks said a deputy prosecutor met with the police detective investigating the case Wednesday and went over the evidence. He said a video recording that Cooper made on an iPhone suggests that he was the aggressor and that Ellis was using lawful force to defend himself.”

      1. avatar

        Alright fine. If he was using lawful force then I’m gonna go pick a fight and fracture a persons skull multiple times and leave him for dead. Thats f**ked up that they called that lawful. Jason should go to jail for what he did for a long time. Jason is just a punk who thinks he’s all tough cause he’s a “mma” fighter. Use you common sense jason and not use your skills and just walk away. I hope you get what’s coming to you Jason. I really do.

        1. avatar

          First of all if you “go pick a fight” then you are the aggressor and after fracturing a persons skull you would go to jail for murder. Because you attacked him (there is a video showing Cooper start the fight). Jason should not go to jail for defending himself, just. Jason is not a punk he used skills to protect himself from harm. I hope Jason gets what is coming to him also, and that is his freedom and to be left alone by people like you.

          1. avatar

            Moron, there was a previous ‘altercation’ at Element between these two earlier in the evening. Jason Ellis DID walk away, he left, he was leaving the situation or in the case where you need proof EXHIBITING SELF CONTROL by REMOVING HIMSELF. Cooper and his mouth decided that wasn’t good enough and he followed Ellis (and proved himself doing this on his own iPhone) and picked a fight with him again. I’m sorry, but if I walked away from someone who was picking a fight with me earlier and now they were confronting me AGAIN, and I’m alone, they’re going to get a fucking mouth full of .45
            Bottom line, Cooper didnt know when to STFU and someone had to teach him. Want a moral of the story? Let sleeping dogs lie.

            1. avatar

              this is why we don’t need the military is this type of violence to use a gun to solve your issues.

              CLOSE naswi for the health and public safety of the civilian population

              1. avatar

                Mr. Newkirk you certainly are a hateful cuss toward the military. Did someone pee in your Wheaties? You need to look beyond your nose; if the Navy left Whidbey Island, it would devastate the tax base for 50 miles in all directions. Vital services would decline or become unaffordable…police, fire and schools would take a big hit as well as the local economy.
                Unless Obama sprinkled a little stimulus money on the area until the grainola munchers from Seattle and California could get here to restore that tax base :(
                Wise up!

                1. avatar

                  I wouldn’t concern myself with Mr Newkirk Larry. He has obviously transferred his current failings in life onto something that happened years and years ago and that issue is now his scapegoat in life. He is not concerned about the tax base, vital services, police, fire or schools or anything else except himself and having an excuse for his own failings in life.

          2. avatar

            You people are fukking sick. SO F***KING WHAT IF CHRIS STARTED THE FIGHT. If Jason was so innocent like all you dumb fukks are saying, then he should of stepped up and walked away like a big guy. But he stooped even lower than Chris did & MURDERED Chris Cooper. Have some fuking respect for his family and loved ones.

            If someone asked their friend for pills and that person overdoses, the person who gave them the pills goes to jail. Just because the one who over doses asked for the pills, doesn’t mean they should die without justice.
            JUSTICE WILL BE SERVED FOR CHRIS COOPER

        2. avatar

          You aren’t that smart cuz Jason did walk away and copper was a drunken idiot and continued. They have mutual friends and know each other so cooper knew he is a talented fighter. So he should of known better. Period. Jason is not to blame. The one who passed was to blame. Sad that he died but shouldn’t of picked on the quiet small guy

    2. avatar

      You are also forgetting the possibility that the victim may not have been down yet. No one truly knows if he went down right away or was able to stumble a bit before collapsing. I truly regret that this tragedy occurred, but nobody should be blind to the fact that injury is a risk you take when starting a fight. All the evidence presented so far indicates that Cooper instigated the fight. Are you saying he bears no responsibility for what happened after? If the investigation can prove beyond doubt that it went beyond self defense then I am all for consequences being enforced, but at this time there is no evidence beyond rumor that it went beyond that.

      1. avatar

        Your proof is that Jason put him in a coma. Even if he stumbled around after the fight ended doesn’t mean he wasn’t already blacked out or knocked out. What Jason did to him went way beyond self defense and he should be punished for what he did to Chris.

        1. avatar

          Can you admit that there is a possibility after the fight that Chris Cooper stumbled, possibly fell a few times, and added a few more injuries to what Jason Ellis may have given him? Since there is every possibility that may have happened then you cannot simply arrive at the conclusion that Jason Ellis is to blame for the death of Chris Cooper with no chance of any other possible alternatives. Thats why the Prosecutor declined to press charges at that time.

          1. avatar

            Last time I checked, “beyond a reasonable doubt ” is the highest standard of proof used in a jury trial. You like to speculate, and that’s okay, but IF Chris Cooper “stumbled, possibly fell a few times, and added a few more injuries to what Jason Ellis may have given him”, it seems rather unreasonable to me that he would have done so at all if Jason Ellis had not already done to him what he did. So, cause-and-effect comes into play.

            If there had been gun play involved, and if one person had been shot, and then stumbled around and hurt himself some and then bled to death, are we then going to blame a concrete sidewalk or an asphalt parking lot for having caused that person’s death?

            1. avatar

              Fair point. Cause-and-effect does come into play. It revolves back to if Chris Cooper hadn’t accosted Ellis in the first place then would he have received any of the injuries he did? My example of how he may have injured himself further pertains more to the possibility that Ellis defended himself within reason, and that these further injuries may have led to Cooper’s death. That Ellis didn’t use excessive force. That was the possibility I was trying to explain. I guess I did a poor job of it.

              1. avatar

                You explained it better now. It sounds like something a defense attorney might argue if he/she aspired to “sell” a jury on that train of thought.

                1. avatar

                  It’s a viable explanation of events. Merely a theory since not all the facts are known, but one that is definitely possible. You are right that any defense attorney would most likely use that as a defense to achieve reasonable doubt.

          2. avatar

            Well I know Jasonand I know and to tell you the truth I’ve gotten drunk with Chris and all his other friends before. And if any of you knew how Chris was when he was drunk you would know why he chose to do what he did. When Chris with get he’d grow beer muscles and an extra 2 ounces of weight in his balls. When Chris gets drunk alond with all of his other friends there fucking idiots and dont think. There have been several altercations were Chris and his COB crew have been drunk and a viscioulsly jump a defensless person. So as far as im concerned he got what he was looking for.

    3. avatar

      Ellis is not to blame. Cooper’s blood is from Cooper’s hands. He created this. A young punk that bit off more than he can chew. If Ellis has a shit hot attorney, he would prove the point to the jurrors that Coop had a camera. Why do you have a camera in a confrontation? I will tell you why. It is to record an assult just like thounsands of other stupid videos on assults that are on the internet. If I was a jurror and a good attorney would pound that out, weel guess what? It sounds like Coop was the only one that had intent to hurt someone and I would aquitt all day

  4. avatar

    Can I ask a serious question here…

    I hope so…

    Isn’t the actions of the Oak Harbor Mayor veering on if not crossing the line of political interference in a law enforcement matter?

    Just asking.

    1. avatar

      Which specific actions by Mayor Dudley do you perceive to have crossed that line, or to have come too close to it?

      1. avatar

        Calling up the Police Chief and the Prosecutor on a regular basis on a particular case.

        Seems to me **from afar** he’s one of those people who doesn’t want folks to defend themselves (I do, it’s the only way to deter bullies whether in the guise of the progressive agitators going after NAS Whidbey or a thug who picks on disabled people for the thrill of doing so or picking a barfight) and/or one of those guys that wants to play judge, jury and executioner.

        I could be wrong. Please tell.

        1. avatar

          If the citizens feel they have been wronged they will go to the mayor. He has an open door policy, so he is very accessable.

          I don’t know the Mayor’s intentions in all of this, but I can tell you that if the citizens went to him he will do everything to see that all the peoples’ evidence is seen by the prosecution.

          He may feel there is other evidence that needs to be looked at and that is what was alluded to in the paper. Is that his right to do so as Mayor? As long as he is standing up for the “regular” people in his city I do believe he is in the right.

          1. avatar

            A mayor should be somewhat neutral in a case like this that is not concrete in what happened. It makes me curious when one learns that he is supporting the group that was very vocal in their support for his election. In this case because of the close ties to that group he should offer condolences, but leave the investigation to others.

            1. avatar

              I would say the group that is very supportive of the mayor’s actions in pressuring Prosecutor Banks to file charges. The group in your very article that was supportive of the Mayor. As I said, a mayor should be more neutral. Especially in a case that is not so clear cut. If he wants to speak out about drunken fighting, or how much of a senseless tragedy this has been, then by all means. However, other than that, he should not have any other input. Repeatedly calling both the Chief and Banks about the case when he hasn’t shown that much impetus on other crimes in this town begins to seem a bit dodgy.

              1. avatar

                I have no idea how often Mayor Dudley may have called either the Chief of Police or the Island County Prosecutor (Greg Banks) about Chris Cooper.

                However, you say Mayor Dudley was “repeatedly calling” those folks, so perhaps you can shed some light on what defines “repeatedly” in this particular case,and what is your source of that statement? Is it Island County Prosecutor Greg Banks, Chief of Police Ed Green, or Mayor Dudley himself?

                Also, besides your allegation that Mayor Dudley appears to be involved because people involved ( i.e. “Cooper’s Troopers) were allegedly supporters of his during his election campaign, what specific “input” to this case about Chris Cooper has Mayor Dudley made that has seems “dodgy” to you? Is that it?

                1. avatar

                  In reply to your question about how much contact Mayor Dudley has had in this investigation I found this in the Whidbey News-Times article about Chris Cooper’s death. It also shows why I think his behavior is a bit dodgy, at least so far in that he is not remaining above making statements about this case. Its even ok to be friends with Cooper’s family and friends, but in that case its even more important that he remains a friend only, and not make the following kinds of comments.

                  He admitted to the News-Times he was in near-constant contact with the police chief about the status of the case, but he said he didn’t encourage or influence him to take any action.

                  Green agreed. He said Dudley had a right to know what was happening with the case, but that he has no role in making decisions regarding a criminal case. He said it was the detective’s supervisor who made the ultimate decision.

                  Still, Dudley said he has very strong feelings regarding the case. He said he was disappointed in the prosecutor’s lack of action and is very proud of how the police handled things. He said he’s seen very similar cases in other jurisdiction in which a perpetrator was charged.

                  “It’s not a tragic accident when you have multiple skull fractures,” he said, adding that the evidence suggests Cooper was struck multiple times after he fell to the ground and was unconscious.

                  In addition, Dudley said it’s significant that Ellis is a mixed-martial arts fighter. He said some jurisdictions consider trained fighters to be “lethal weapons.”

                  This is what I consider to be slightly inappropriate for a Mayor. By all means, offer condolences to the family, but these remarks have the added effect of fanning the flames of controversy. In my opinion, and its only that, the mayor should be calming the population, urging them to let the investigation take its course, and promoting cooperation between the prosecutor and police force. Comments like the one above can hardly work to help improve cooperation.

                  Now everything I am saying is merely opinion, and I am certainly not an expert in politics. It just seems to me that the Mayor has seemed to have decided that Ellis is guilty. I simply think that he should only offer support in consoling the family, and leave the rest out of his statements. At least until the investigation is concluded.

                  Now my question for you is this. Even if Dudley is only wanting constant updates about this case, and not intentionally trying to cross that line of overt political influence. What do you think any police chief that just took over for a chief that was recently fired by this very same mayor is going to act when getting constant calls from his boss about progress on this case? Do you think there may be any possibility that the arrest of Jason Ellis was motivated by these constant calls? As stated in the article the police were told by the prosecutor’s office before the arrest that they did not have enough evidence to go forward at that time.

                  A link to the article in question.
                  http://www.whidbeynewstimes.com/news/181614681.html

                  1. avatar

                    You are free to speculate all you like, but I have already said, above that “I have no idea how often Mayor Dudley may have called either the Chief of Police or the Island County Prosecutor (Greg Banks) about Chris Cooper.”

                    “Any possibility”? Sure, anything you can imagine.

                    1. avatar

                      The article I cited answered your question about how much Mayor Dudley was contacting Chief Green. He said he was in “near constant” contact. All I was trying to offer an opinion about is that the attention the mayor is offering this one particular case seems to be a bit excessive for a somebody I believe should be more neutral. In your opinion do you see that as being excessive? Should a mayor take a more neutral stand in a criminal investigation due to our society’s belief that you are innocent until proven guilty?

                    2. avatar

                      What ““near constant” contact” means (or should mean to facilitate an efficient and effective working relationship) I”ll leave up to the two actual adults involved – the Mayor and the Chief of Police. Both of them long ago earned their “big boy” pants and I have no reason to believe they have lost them recently.

                      Also, I don’t accept your premise that Mayor Dudley “hasn’t shown that much impetus on other crimes”. Like I said, ““I have no idea how often Mayor Dudley may have called either the Chief of Police or the Island County Prosecutor (Greg Banks) about Chris Cooper.” On this specific point, I know the same thing about other local crimes, too.

            2. avatar

              One other thing to be asking. How is it that the Mayor knows of a possible witness that may have seen the altercation that was never mentioned nor whose testimony was part of the evidence that was submitted to Prosecutor Banks when he made the decision to not file charges for the altercation? As far as the witness knowing the articles of clothing that was worn by either person. Anybody that was at the Element, and knew either of the two people involved would know what they were wearing, or could have heard from somebody that was there. The fact that this witness appears after the Prosecutor declined to press charges also seems a bit on the dodgy side. I followed alot of posts, stories, and even plain old gossip, a witness was never once mentioned. That is very suspicious in light that all of the sudden there is one now.

              1. avatar

                Mayor Dudley mentioned to me that he had been told of a witness on Friday evening when I spoke to him via telephone. Jason Youngsman mentioned a witness to me on Saturday evening in front of Oak Harbor City Hall. I do not know when this witness came forward or was located or what other information this witness may have that is relevant.

                The fact that you already seem to find a witness “dodgy” when nobody has specified what the witness claims to have seen that may be relevant to this case is not by any means a “neutral” position.

                Your statement “I followed alot of posts, stories, and even plain old gossip, a witness was never once mentioned” is mistaken as I mentioned it in the above article and now again here and I have told you exactly who related that information to me and when and where they did so.

                1. avatar

                  Yes you are the first to have ever mentioned a witness at all. You also said that the witness claims to have witnessed the altercation. I am neutral when it comes to the innocence or guilt of Jason Ellis. I do believe in innocent until proven guilty. The fact that the Whidbey News-Times reported that the Prosecutor did not believe there was enough evidence for charges yet, and an arrest was still made seems to show that not many others are following that belief. So I will say that I am not neutral in how many have automatically assumed the guilt of Jason Ellis. If he did go beyond self defense then he deserves to be punished, but that should be determined by the law, not emotionally distraught people.

                  1. avatar

                    Nobody here (up until you did so) had suggested that “emotionally distraught people” would be deciding the ultimate innocence or guilt of Jason Ellis.

                    If you are suggesting that some of those folks associated with “Cooper’s Trooper’s” may be emotionally distraught, I suppose that may be so since they felt compelled to make themselves peaceably visible and vocal over this past weekend following Jason Ellis’ release from jail followed by Chris Cooper’s demise shortly thereafter.

            3. avatar

              What group was supporting him during the election? He did win the election by a wide margin so does that mean he cannot support large groups of the citizens that may have also supported him?

              I think that any group that approaches the Mayor that he feels he can help he will do so. Maybe I am biased because I did support him but I do believe he should support those citizens that ask him for help if he feels they are in the right.

              I do not agree with his conclusions but I do believe he is right in supporting the citizens that ask for his help in pressing their concerns.

              1. avatar

                By all means urge the investigation to proceed in a timely fashion, but I would say that be all that he should have done. Everyone wants the investigation to be concluded, but his own opinions should be left out until after its done.

                1. avatar

                  I find it interesting. Here we have a Mayor, right or wrong, helping the hoi-polloi in our city and that is certainly a first.

                  The citizens came to him with an issue that was important to them and he made their issue his issue. I don’t see anything wrong with that and even if the Mayor is incorrect in his opinions it will only help bring the facts out instead of rumor.

                  I think I would rather have a Mayor that does something rather than nothing when the citizens request his help. He may be wrong but at least he did something…

  5. avatar

    This is a tragic loss of a young man’s life.
    It is sickening to me that time and time again all of these horrible events originate at the element night club.

    When we have to ask ourselves what’s next; its time for the element to be gone.

    1. avatar

      You honestly cannot blame a business for the actions of its patrons. Drunken brawls would occur still even without the Element around. Until people can learn to behave responsibly when out having a good time then these senseless tragedies will continue to happen. Even increasing police presence in the area would probably not help that much. Don’t look for a scapegoat to blame away a tragedy that ultimately is nobody’s fault except those involved.

    2. avatar

      How far away from the Element Night Club (or from any other legal business in Oak Harbor) must people have traveled before the business does not allegedly have responsibility for the future actions of adult citizens who have already departed their business and property?

      1. avatar

        Exactly…by the above argument the Element should be held responsible for anything that one of their customers does when they leave. Its absolutely impossible to scapegoat a business for this tragedy.

    3. avatar

      I’m not so much blaming the element for this incident but I am sharing my frustration at the fact of time and time again all of these awful events tend to originate at the element.
      It wasn’t two months ago that a patron of the element walked down to mi pubelo and for no reason punched a man in the head as he walked out the door. In that case the man was airlifted to harborview twice and it looks like he will recover.

      What if were not so luckey next time and what will next time bring.
      The element does share in the blame for continuing to over serve its patrons liquor.
      Under state law it is a crime to allow its patrons to get so drunk under state law they are obligated to cut these people off before there is a problem like this.

      The element has proven that money not safety is what matters and for that they need to go.

      1. avatar

        Has the Element Night Club ever been charged and/or found guilty of having over-served any of its patrons?

        Have any other establishments in the City of Oak Harbor in the last decade been charged and/or found guilty of having over-served any of their patrons?

        When you have some information that supports your claim that “all of these awful events tend to originate at the element” and can place that information in correct context (with respect to other crimes in Oak Harbor and the establishments that those folks had just previously patronized) maybe we can publish that story here at Island Politics.

        It would be a great deal of effort on your part to research and collate such information to present it cohesively, but I seriously doubt we will ever see any such a story from our local “news” paper.

        Maybe you would be interested in bringing forth that analysis for people to read? Or, maybe not.

    4. avatar

      i think its really pathetic you try to blame an establishment. either one of then could have very well been drinking at off the hook all night and then went to element afterward. or drank at home and then went to element. so how could it be their fault? how would YOU feel if someone went and drank at YOUR house and then left. walked home w/e and something like this happened on their way home. would YOU want to be blamed. cuz technically they got drunk at YOUR house.
      Just throwin that out there.
      because i dont think that You would want to be held responisble

  6. avatar

    A club that serves, and over-serves, I might add, is responsible for the actions of their patrons after they leave. Other establishments have been held accountable in the past when said person gets behind the wheel and ends up killing a family.

    1. avatar

      Can you cite a WA State RCW that specifies that legal responsibility and its extent? I do not know of this being a case of either Chris Cooper or Jason Ellis allegedly being “over-served”. Do you? How is it is established legally that someone has been “over-served”?

      Hm-mm…I could not find a specific RCW at the moment, but apparently there is some case law regarding the issue you raise:

      “Serving the “Apparently Under the Influence” Patron: The Ramifications of Barrett v. Lucky Seven Saloon, Inc.”: http://is.gd/6ZMq4B

  7. avatar

    If you kill someone even on accident there should be consequences, especially over a stupid drunken dispute. That is no reason for a life to be lost. Someone who is in mixed martial arts also knows how to grapple and take down and retrain a attacker without even hurting them. No weapon was found on cooper, this could have been easily avoided and its a shame that this happened. I understand accidents happen but the lack of remorse on Ellis’s side is disturbing. What is he just going to strait up kill the next person he gets into a fight with at the bar and walk away and claim self defense? How can anyone know if they are safe if this man is just walking the street breaking skulls and leaving people to die over a dispute while intoxicated? I highly doubt a trained MMA fighter was really that afraid of cooper (who i knew) and there is no evidence in the video of cooper ever hitting or striking Ellis, just him following him with his phone out and talking a little smack. I didnt know mean words were grounds for the death penalty now. I guess you learn something new everyday.

    1. avatar

      Is an electronic copy of that video file to which you allude available?

    2. avatar

      Michelle, you know Chris? Of course you do! Look, you just admitted that he was following him and talking smack. Can talking smack be perceived as threatning someone? I think it does. So, he was following someone while filming and talking smack. A honest jurror would perceive that as stalking and making terroist threats. I am sorry to say that is grounds to defend yourself. I would see it like that if I was a jurror. Your friend Chris was nothing more than a young punk who ended up messing with the wrong person. That is the truth. Prove to a jurror that Ellis knew that Chris didn’t have a weapon. You can’t! If I was being chased by a young animal then I protect myself also. Yes, I did call your friend an animal because he is no different that the thousand of other people who made videos of themselves beating people up on the internet. Yes, i did say that. A good defense lawyer will bring up the video all trial long. All he has to do is compare Chris’s behavior to the thousand of idiots on the internet beating people up. He will prove that Chris is no better then them and Chris is actually the one that had intentions to hurt someone. You call it talking smack but in reality he was stalking and threatning someone. Maybe he doesn’t deserve to die but I am sure that Ellis regrets that night as well. He never intended to kill anyone. You can not bring up that he is a fighter. So what if he is. There are hundrends maybe thousands of young guys who know how to fight. All that shit is pointless. The point is, if you stay way from trouble then you won’t be in trouble. Cooper has a reputation for being an asshole, maybe not to you and all your friends but he is known for starting fights. Yes, I do believe that Chris has a lot of support from the people from Oak Harbor because his family has a business and they pretty much know everyone. That is fine. You want to hang this guy and call him a killer. In reality, you are being honest and searching for the truth. Find out all of the detail. Don’t just convict someone because your friends with the other party. I understand that it might be hard for you to admit that your friend was wrong. This could have happen to anyone.

  8. avatar

    I agree with Neutral; seems to be the only one on here with any sense. It is a tragedy what happened, and it wouldn’t have happened if Jason wasn’t approached and verbally assaulted. May I ask what everyone’s opinions would be if the shoe was on the other foot? Chris killed Jason? Could have happened, and as far as the mayor and others go, never let a good tragedy go to waste.

    1. avatar

      Yours is an interesting speculative question.

      With a few folks with whom I have similarly speculated off-line, I asked: “What if I was an older gentleman in his 50′s carrying a concealed pistol (legally, for self-defense purposes) and this Chris Cooper fellow had come up to me in similar fashion as he appears to have done with Jason Ellis and I shot him dead with my pistol “in self-defense”?

      Now, a bit differently: what if Chris Copper and I had been the same two people and he came up to me similarly, but, instead of me shooting him and him dying, I ended up being the person who ended up dead?

      I like using those kinds of analogies to examine events and to help place events in context, but, alas, the shortcoming of all those scenarios, both yours and mine, is that none of them actually happened, whereas this actually did happen, so it’s really difficult (for me, anyway), to have much of an opinion about a hypothetical situation that would be different in a number of ways from the start.

      However, I do very much appreciate the question being posted as I do agree that this real world event was a tragedy and I, wish it never happened. I would bet that everyone on here agrees this was a tragedy and would like it never to have happened, but others may not agree that my analogies have any relevance to your question.

  9. avatar

    It’s like the situations where someone goes to rob a house or something and say there are two people. Well, the guy that came up with the plan just tells his buddy “Hey, were gonna rob this place, that’s it”, so his buddy says “OK, cool!” He doesn’t know his friend is bringing a gun (that, he, of course doesn’t plan on using). Well, the homeowners wake up. They get shot and die. Now both are charged with murder because the situation NEVER would have occurred if they weren’t robbing the house in the first place!

    1. avatar

      Yes, I believe I see what you are saying: it is an inescapable fact that that if the altercation between these two men had never started in the first place, the violence would not have been able to escalate to the point of tragedy, just as in your house-robbing scenario that spun out of control.

  10. avatar

    Thanks! Once I started to try and explain that scenario it was much harder then I thought.

    1. avatar

      You are welcome. ;-)

  11. avatar

    Chris cooper started the fight, got what he deserved and walked away with his hands in his pockets, then fell as he went into a sweet sweet coma. It’s nice to see a county prosecutor actually doing his job and holding up the self defense laws. Don’t fuck with the wrong guy multiple times… You mess with a dog too many times and it will bite.

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