More details have been released in the arrest of 81-year-old Carl Lee Mason of Chesterfield,…
A Troutman man facing murder charges in connection to a house fire that claimed his family’s lives has decided not to accept the state’s plea deal. 23-year-old Corey Alexander Cook of Troutman, will stand trial on three charges of first-degree murder. He is also charged with setting fire to the home and 17 counts of felony identity theft.
Cook appeared in Iredell County Superior Court on Thursday (August 17) to reportedly enter a plea in the case but made the decision to not accept the deal. A Rule 24 hearing will be held for the state to present evidence before a judge to determine if Cook will now face the death penalty if convicted.
The deal would have allowed Cook to plead to three charges of second-degree murder that would have carried three sentences of 25 years to be served consecutively, for a total of 75 years.
Firefighters were called to Loram Drive in Troutman on July 27, 2021. Cook made several statements to law officers about the fire. As the investigation continued, officers began to find holes in his story.
Detectives were aware of a call for a domestic disturbance earlier in the day at the residence. The investigation soon found that an adult, Cook, had left the home in his mother’s car and drove to his grandmother Sondra Dover’s home in Mooresville.
On August 28, 2021, police said evidence moved them to view Cook as the suspect. It was that day that the executor of the family’s estates called to reveal that the deceased family members’ credit cards had been used to purchase Amazon gift cards.
When confronted by detectives later, Cook claimed innocence. However, when the video was pulled from Harris-Teeter grocery store where the cards were bought, and where Cook worked, it showed he had been the one to purchase the cards. He also bought them in amounts of $100 to avoid a manager being involved in the transaction.
On October 15, 2021, Cook was questioned and confessed to the deaths and the arson, according to deputies. Cook remained in the Iredell County Detention Center under no bond.[Story courtesy of Rick Gilbert, WACB]