Trial Postponed For Convicted Murderer
Jeffrey Eugene Cordell is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of a Harford County man while both were in prison.
The trial of a convicted murderer charged with killing his Harford County cellmate in the Jessup Correctional Institution in June has been postponed until autumn.
Jeffrey Eugene Cordell, 29, is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of his cellmate, Robert Joseph Tunnell Jr. in June 2012.
Cordell was slated to appear in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Tuesday with a jury trial expected to begin in April, however both court dates have been postponed.
The 21-year-old Tunnell, formerly of Edgewood and Baltimore, was found dead in his cell with signs of trauma to his body and a string around his neck, police said at the time.
Cordell allegedly said something to a correctional officer making routine rounds that prompted an emergency response from staff, according to a release from Maryland State Police. It remains unclear what the nature of those statements was.
According to court records, Tunnell had a violation of probation hearing in Harford County the day before he was killed.
He was serving a six-year sentence after entering an Alford Plea on an attempted second-degree sex offense charge. An Alford Plea means the defendant acknowledges the state has enough evidence to convict, but maintains his innocence. It qualifies as a finding of guilt.
The underlying charges involved inappropriate contact with a boy, age 14, when Tunnell was 19 years old, according to court documents.
Cordell is serving a 100-year sentence for drowning a 27-year-old woman in a bathtub inside an Elkton home then setting fire to the house, The Cecil Whig reported.
During a court appearance, Cordell implied he poured gasoline on the woman's body in order to start the fire, The Cecil Whig story states.
Cordell's jury trial is scheduled to begin October 8, according to online court records.