Cowick pleads guilty in double-murder case
By SAMANTHA LYLES
Cephas Cowick, a Darlington man who faced a death penalty trial for double murder, has pleaded guilty and accepted a penalty of life without parole.
The news came during a hearing in the case, conducted by video, Wednesday morning.
Cowick, 25, was accused of killing Denise Couplin, 52, and her 9-year-old granddaughter Deziyah Davis at their home off Bobo Newsome Highway on July 17, 2016.
Fourth Circuit Deputy Solicitor Kernard Redmond recounted the following details of the crimes for the record.
At approximately 6:20 a.m. on July 17, 2016, Cowick was dropped off at Couplin’s home by his wife, Katherine Baucom-Cowick. He entered a downstairs bedroom shared by Couplin and Deziyah. Cowick shot Couplin once in the head with a .380 handgun, then shot her granddaughter twice in the head.
“It appears that Deziyah woke up at this time and that led to her being shot,” said Redmond.
The bodies were found at around 11:50 a.m. by Couplin’s nephew, who was evidently asleep upstairs with other children during the shootings. Darlington County Sheriff’s Office investigators responded and began to piece together what happened.
Later that day, Couplin’s Cadillac Escalade was found burned on Birdsnest Road.
Redmond recounted that as investigators interviewed witnessed, suspicion quickly fell on Cowick. Couplin had spoken to multiple persons about threatening calls she received from Cowick. Redmond said that Cowick had “done work” for Couplin for almost two years and had even stayed over at her home.
DCSD investigators went to the Cowick residence and found a .380 handgun and sent it to SLED for testing. They also found pills taken from Couplin, and the victim’s debit card was found in Katherine Baucom-Cowick’s purse.
Other witnesses told law enforcement that Cowick had discussed robbing Couplin and talked about procuring a weapon for that purpose. A witness also gave investigators a drawing Cowick had made depicting the layout of Couplin’s home.
The plea hearing took place via a WebEx teleconference June 24. Fourth Circuit Judge Eugene Griffith explained to Cowick that in pleading guilty, he waived his right to an in-person jury trial and all rights to defend himself at trial.
See the July 1, 2020 News and Press for more information on this & other news.