BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) — For years, convicted rapist and murderer, Frank Ford Cosey, has been fighting to be removed from death row sighting a lack of mental capacity that would disqualify him from this form of punishment.
In the summer of 1990, Frank Ford Cosey raped and murdered 12-year-old Delky Nelson in her home after her mother stepped out of the house. One of the former prosecutors of the case, Beau Brock, remembers the case to the last detail.
“He tricked a child into going in by giving her what we think was a gift and then raping her and then slitting her throat, and then afterward stomping on her face to make sure she was dead,” Brock said.
Ford then left the child’s body in a sexual manner for her mother to find.
“Even on video, it was one of the most heinous things I’ve ever seen,” Brock said.
In 1996, Cosey was found guilty by a unanimous jury after a lengthy trial. He was sentenced to be put to death for his crime but is now challenging his fate by claiming that he does not have the mental capacity.
The Supreme Court has already upheld the sentence in 2000 but the same court has ruled it illegal for intellectually disabled convicts to be sentenced to death.
“He has every right to challenge the case,” Brock said. “The conviction I believe was a solid conviction.”
For years, Ford’s legal team has been building a case arguing that he does not have the mental capacity to be put to death. Brock said he has not been a part of this case since the 90s but argues Ford’s legal team was solid.
“He had the best defensive team ever probably in the state of Louisiana representing him,” Brock recalled. “Two people had been presidents of the Baton Rouge Bar Association, two of the brightest in the country Tony Marabella and Frank Holthaus and the third defense attorney was Hillar Moore who is the DA. “If there was a diminished capacity of some kind of IQ thing or something like that, they would have raised it then.”
The State rested its case Thursday after days of questioning a psychological expert, Dr. Jill Hayes based out of Tennessee. For days, Dr. Hayes explained the results of various evaluations that she performed on Ford in order to get an understanding of his mind in intellectual capacity. And while it was speculated that Ford had educational difficulties, some of which could be attributed to drug and alcohol use, she explained that nothing points to a major disorder or deficit.