Accused murderer Bryan Cooke has been moved from Warren County Jail for his own safety as he awaits hearing next month on homicide charges for the murders of local business owners Gary and Gail Dodson.
Cooke is being held at Coffee County Jail under $2 million bond, charged with the murders of his in-laws. The Dodsons were found dead in their home, the victims of foul play, on the morning of June 29. Cooke fled to Florida following the murders in the Dodson’s vehicle and was found naked and delirious in a hotel room in Jacksonville with money lying around him on the bed. A hotel clerk reported his suspicious behavior and lawmen there recognized the suspect from a nation-wide all-points-bulletin that had been put out for his arrest. Dodson recently returned to Warren County after he agreed to stop fighting extradition.
“With the overcrowding we have at the jail, it’s impossible to isolate someone who is facing that type of charge,” said Sheriff Jackie Matheny of the decision to move Cooke to Manchester. “It’s so overcrowded here that there could have been a safety issue.”
The sheriff pointed out that the victims in the case were popular in the community and knew many people through their business.
“There would have been a concern for his safety given the problem of keeping isolated from the other inmates,” Matheny noted.
The sheriff revealed that there are presently 307 inmates in the jail which has only 251 total beds, leaving some inmates having to sleep on the floor.
Cooke appeared before General Sessions Judge Bill Locke Tuesday morning and was assigned the services of the Public Defender’s Office of John Partin. His preliminary hearing has been set for Sept. 22.
While he has a $2 million bond set for the murders, he is being held without bond due to his probation violation.