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Andrew Cooper On Trial For Murder Of Ellettsville Man
Updated September 14, 2015 2:44 PM | Filed under: Crime
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(BLOOMINGTON) - A Bloomington man accused of breaking into an Ellettsville home and beating the homeowner to death is on trial this week in Monroe Circuit Court.

A 12-member jury was selected on Friday, with testimony beginning today.

33-year-old Andrew Bryan Cooper is accused of killing 81-year-old Sid Cowden by beating him to death with a lantern-style flashlight. The incident happened nine years ago. Cooper was arrested January 2014 after DNA from cigarette butts, fingerprints and blood found at Cowden's Dewey Drive home and on his pickup truck helped identify Cooper as one of two suspects involved in the crime.

He was charged with murder, robbery resulting in serious bodily injury and burglary resulting in bodily injury.

The second suspect, 42-year-old Bradd Stroup, is currently serving a 30-year sentence at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility for child molesting. He had not yet been charged in the murder.

The two were linked to the murder after DNA matches appeared in the state DNA database. People entering the state prison system are required to submit DNA samples.

According to police, Cowden was attacked at his home during a burglary in October 2006. His body was discovered miles away in a subdivision south of Bloomington, at the wheel of his silver 1990 GMC pickup. Police say the engine was running and the windshield wipers were on.

According to an autopsy report, Cowden died from injuries related to a beating and had been strangled.

Police say Cooper had grown up in Ellettsville, not far from Cowden's home. His mother lived near where Cowden's truck and body were discovered.

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