Home invasion accomplice charged with capital murder

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 2, 2005

A Chelsea man was killed early Sunday morning and another woman is facing capital murder charges after a botched home invasion attempt.

The incident occurred about 2 a.m. Sunday at Hackberry Lane, which is located off County Road 39.

Chelsea resident William Clint O’Shields, 25, who was one of two individuals involved in the home invasion, died after the homeowner – reportedly Kerry Standridge – shot him.

According to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department, O’Shields had bound the homeowner during the invasion, but the man was able to escape and eventually shoot O’Shields.

Rebecca Cockerham, 20, of Chelsea, who reportedly assisted O’Shields in the invasion, was taken into custody and charged with felony murder, two counts of robbery first degree and theft of property second degree. Sheriff’s department investigators met with the county district attorney’s office Monday, and announced the charges later that afternoon.

Cockerham’s bond was set at $500,000 for the murder charge, $225,000 for each robbery charge and $50,000 for the theft of property charge. She could face up to life in prison for the murder charge.

Alabama law dictates that if someone is killed during the commission of a crime, even if that person is also a suspect, an accomplice can be charged with capital murder.

Cockerham lived with O’Shields and indicated they were married.

According to the sheriff’s department, the homeowners, a husband and wife, woke up after hearing a noise. At that time, a masked intruder identified as O’Shields was in the residence.

He reportedly tied the husband up and held the wife at gunpoint while taking items from various rooms in the house including electronics, jewelry and other items.

The husband was able to untie himself and found a firearm to shoot O’Shields. The homeowners were not injured. The shooter will not be charged, according to Shelby County District Attorney Robby Owens.

&uot;If you’re in your home – your own home – you’re going to have a lot of freedom to protect yourself, especially your wife, your family and property,&uot; he said.

Owens said a toxicology report would likely show O’Shields had a high level of drugs in his body, though a final report will not be available for at least several weeks.

O’Shields and Cockerham are also suspected in another home invasion that occurred just a few hours earlier, according to Sheriff Chris Curry.

&uot;We believe that both of these individuals committed another home invasion in Westover earlier in the evening,&uot; Curry said.

&uot;The resident was at home but not injured. Several firearms taken in this incident have been recovered. Investigators believe that one or both of these individuals may have committed other similar crimes.&uot;

The victim in the Westover was a man in his 80s who was apparently tied up, according to reports. At least one firearm taken in the Westover invasion was thought to be used in the Chelsea invasion