Confessed killer Nathaniel Cook to be released from prison

Confessed killer Nathaniel Cook to be released from prison

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - A judge on Thursday ruled that confessed killer Nathaniel Cook can be released from prison.

Judge Linda Jennings found that she had to comply with the agreement reached 18 years ago that would allow him to be released to community control for five years.

"I was trying to find a legal basis to prevent your release. Unfortunately, I have found none. I am forced to comply with the agreement," Judge Jennings said.

Cook also ruled he would be classified as a sexual predator and is required to register personally with the sheriff of each county in Ohio in which he resides.

Victims addressed the court during Thursday's proceedings.

Doreen Powers, whose brother, Tom Gordon, was killed by Nathaniel Cook, spoke to Judge Jennings.

"Today your ruling will ultimately alter the way me and so many other view the laws. ... Anthony said he would admit to all the murders so his baby brother would get a shorter sentence. Before your ruling, Nathaniel and Anthony Cook admitted to killing my brother, Tommy. They left Sandy -- they thought she was dead. I guess Nathaniel killed all the victims alone? ... Most of these victims knew each. Other they were connected somehow. There was stalking involved. Odds are, Nathaniel was probably involved. But he only admitted to killing my brother. But I"m sure everyone knows he was also involved.

"He destroyed lives, generations. There's no remorse. I see no remorse in him whatsoever."

Cook is one of two brothers who pleaded guilty to stalking, raping and killing young women in the 1980s.

"I've never been afraid. But I'm afraid for other people out there" said Sandra Rollins after the hearing, who survived an attack by Cook.

Under a plea agreement hammered out by prosecutors and defense lawyers Nathaniel Cook would be freed after 20 years for admitting guilt.

The deal was approved by families of the victims.

"We can never say or do anything that will unravel the tragedy those people felt, all those people" Lucas County Prosecutor Julia Bates said after the hearing.

Cook will go into a work release program. One job possibility is with Goodwill Industries.

Cook plans to live with a sister and get a driver's license.

"There's always that concern. But if a person gets the support services they need to help that change, I think there's a lot of things that can assist that person from recidivism" according to Tom Luettke of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee.

Before his release, Judge Jennings ruled Cook should be classified as a sexual predator and register with the county where he lives every 90 days.

His brother Anthony is serving two life sentences.

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