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Former Ala. Trooper Who Murdered Trooper Girlfriend Leaves Prison

October 10, 2012  | 

CC_Flickr: Inventorchris
CC_Flickr: Inventorchris

A onetime Alabama trooper who fatally shot his trooper girlfriend as she sat in her patrol car left prison Sunday after serving a 25-year prison sentence for the crime, reports WSFA.

Joe Cecil Duncan, 57, was convicted of killing Elizabeth Cobb on Oct. 11, 1987. Duncan, Cobb's patrol supervisor, fiancée, and life insurance beneficiary, shot her in the head. Duncan had been given the death penalty, but later had his sentence reduced to life with the possibility of parole after a second trial.

Duncan had taken out a $150,000 insurance policy that named him the beneficiary prior to her death. Cobb was the first female trooper killed in the line of duty.

Comments (30)

Displaying 1 - 30 of 30

Chinhokelly @ 10/11/2012 2:49 PM

Death penalty reduced to Life Without. Trouble is it's never "without."

Mark @ 10/11/2012 3:38 PM

Too bad he's getting out but one is this considered a 'line-of-duty' death? It's a tragic domestic homicide but not a line-of-duty death.

LT @ 10/11/2012 3:48 PM

"First female trooper killed in the line of duty". I sure she never thought it would be by one of her own, let alone her fiancee. Tragic! Not sure I think 25 years is fair. As far as Im concerned he is a cop killer. Should have got the death penalty.

1sniperUp @ 10/11/2012 3:49 PM

"she sat in her patrol car" = Line of Duty

John @ 10/11/2012 3:51 PM

It's line-of-duty because it occurred when she was working. If she'd had a heart attack or died in an auto accident, it would have been classified the same.

[email protected] @ 10/11/2012 4:09 PM

Should have fried this turd back in '87. A disgrace to the profession and Alabama. Blues, Stay Safe.

Capt David-Ret LA County @ 10/11/2012 4:29 PM it relevant that she was 1st female trooper killed? Trooper killed by partner bad enough..

Jack Betz @ 10/11/2012 4:44 PM

I think Cheif Bill Parker in LA said it, The trouble with law enforcement is the only place we have to recuit is the human race.

Tschako @ 10/11/2012 5:33 PM

Don't feel too bad about his getting out in 25 years; in Californie, he'd have done 2 1/2 to 7 years, and would have been released early due to overcrowding.

Clint @ 10/11/2012 6:33 PM

Well, no matter what we think, we cannot know everything that happened. He has served his time and hopefully he will go forward and do some good in the world....

Eric @ 10/11/2012 6:55 PM

Its a line of duty death. Another cop killer set free. Tragic!

D @ 10/11/2012 7:10 PM

Only good thing about this a&*(wipe getting out of jail, is he is in the South, and she has family here. So he will always be looking over his shoulder and who knows......we have all heard about payback being hell.

Morning Eagle @ 10/11/2012 8:00 PM

It happened that I was in Alabama when this POS was tried and sentenced to death and thought it was the most fitting punishment. Did not know until reading this article that he had somehow wangled a second trial and a commuted sentence with possibility of parole after 25 years. Disgusting, have to wonder how they justified that after what he did. She was his fiancée, fellow Trooper and, oh by the way, had taken out a 150K policy on her naming himself as beneficiary. The scumbag should have been executed a long time ago. Hopefully he will spend the rest of his life and may it not be a long one, watching out for someone from her family he would not even recognize after all these years who have surely not forgotten what he did.

Dave Striegel @ 10/11/2012 8:29 PM

Sounds like a line of duty death to me but the motivation is domestic-related.

nitehawk @ 10/11/2012 8:58 PM

i was working the streets the nite this went down (retired city police officer) while not knowing she was already dead -- the radio operator on duty called her number out every few minutes until it became about evey1/2 minute -- very sad -- no police officer on duty that nite did anything, but pray for her saftey by the time the sun come up they had found her ..... and you know the rest ( be careful my brothers & sisters)

mike @ 10/12/2012 4:21 AM

Another reason to abolish the death penalty. When someone gets life without the possibility of parole, they think about their bad decision for the rest of their lives behind bars. Wait! Did this guy get of out of prison? Then it could happen to anyone.

Ann @ 10/12/2012 6:16 AM

Mike (10/12-4:21 am) Trouble is they did the crime but WE PAY FOR IT. They get FREE room, food, lights, heat, laundry, FREE MEDICAL CARE, Rec room, library w/educational possibilities, etc. Oh, they usually "FIND GOD" after about 6 months-but that doesn't last long once they get out! They may have a fleeting thought now & then about the victim of their crime, but they usually justify it to them-selves that the person did something to deserve what s/he got. It's a shame he got the "possibility of parole" instead of natural life + 10!

Lt.Tommy @ 10/12/2012 6:31 AM

Uh, if you are shot in the head while sitting in your patrol vehicle it is a line of duty death. It is also a domestic violence case as well, capital murder on several levels, but she was on duty so it is a line of duty death. He'll answer for it ultimately.

Tony Martin @ 10/12/2012 6:39 AM

She was "on-duty" at the time of her death. The criminal act that caused her death was "Domestic Homicide." He needs to serve another 75 more years for this type of calculated, purposefully planned criminal act.

Kyle @ 10/12/2012 10:03 AM

Only a police officer could get a death penalty sentence reduced to the minimum for a police officer. A regular Joe Copkiller would have been shot for "resisting" before it ever got to trial.

LA @ 10/13/2012 6:50 AM

Now if Cobb had killed Cecil, she'd still be in prison and would never see the light of day. Tell me why he was even given the "possibility of parole" instead of the death sentence he received for a premeditated killing of an on duty trooper? ridiculous

Jackson @ 10/13/2012 8:00 PM

Only in America do we protect the rights of suspects more so than the victims. Our courts are a joke for the most part.

Nichole @ 10/15/2012 4:52 AM

Ok, riddle me this, Batman. If it was reduced to life without the possibility of parole, why is he out of prison?

What the hell sense does that make?

RO @ 10/15/2012 10:38 AM

Nichole the sentence was reduced to life WITH the possibility of parole. Not sure how he pulled that one off.....doesn't make sense.

MSMILLS @ 10/15/2012 10:19 PM

He made a plea of guilty to murder instead of a retrial for capital murder. The sentence was 25 years. He served the full 25 years so was released. Sad he now walks free and the Cobb family is living with knowing this. At least they always denied him parole and made him serve the whole sentence.

S.S @ 10/19/2012 7:56 AM

He's no cop and never was. Where's the justice for her family? A clear break down of our system. I hope her family sues the hell out of the system as well as this p.o.s.

Lori @ 4/2/2013 10:22 AM

He got a retrial and pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter in exchange for the 25 year sentence. Not speculating, as I know this family personally. He has done his time and as stated by someone earlier, I hope he goes forward and does something great with his life, and the lives of those who love him.

Mickey @ 7/21/2013 12:59 PM


monica @ 1/18/2014 10:36 PM

I'm actually Elizabeth's niece. During the first trial the jury sentenced him to life withoutpossibility of parole and the judge ( in what was also a first) overruled the jury's decision to death. His appeal was granted on the basis that too many black jurors were struck from the selection without good cause. His second trial he was sentenced to the 25 years and the judge then promised my family he wouldn't leave one day less than those 25 years. They left out the part where he also led a search for her when she didn't report in that night,paid two hookers to be his alibi, sat between my grandmother and the governor at her funeral and presented the flag from her casket to my grandmother. I was only 7 when this happened. Her funeral was my first. I still remember it like it was yesterday. Dr pepper and sour cream and onion chips were what she was eating on a break parked by a church when he walked up to car window and shot her three times. He is a sociopath.

BJ @ 4/10/2016 11:42 AM

i grew up with Liz and Barbara, I know the cobb family very well, It's sad that her mother passed away, and her sister had to deal with cancer and passed away. They used to go to all of his parole hearings to keep him in prison. Too bad he's out now. God will certainly deal with him

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