PHOENIX – A fatal confrontation in a fast-food restaurant parking lot has resulted in an eight year prison sentence for Cordell Lamar Jude (D.O.B. 1/10/1990). Jude was found guilty of manslaughter last November for recklessly causing the death of Daniel Adkins in April, 2012 after the two men had a verbal altercation that led Jude to fatally shoot Adkins. The sentence imposed today by the Honorable John Ditsworth, is one year longer than the allowable mitigated term for a conviction of manslaughter, a Class 2 dangerous felony. Jude was also ordered to pay restitution to the victim’s family.
“Although the aggravating factors of this offense carry a lengthier possible prison term, the sentence imposed today holds the defendant accountable for needlessly taking the life of a member of our community and causing endless grief for the victim’s family,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “It also demonstrates the ability of Arizona’s criminal justice system to fairly distinguish between a citizen’s lawful use of deadly physical force and a crime of homicide as clearly defined in our statutes,” he added.
At around 7:45 p.m. on April 3, 2012, Daniel Adkins was walking with his dog through a parking lot of a Taco Bell restaurant located near 51st Avenue and Baseline Road. Cordell Jude was driving his vehicle in the restaurant’s drive-through lane when Adkins stepped in front of the car, forcing Jude to slam on his brakes to avoid hitting him. Adkins began yelling at Jude and struck the vehicle with what Jude later said he believed was a bat or similar object. Jude then shot Adkins once with a gun he was carrying in his car, and then immediately called police. No bat or object of similar size was found at the scene Jude told police that Adkins was preparing to take another swing at him, causing him to fear for his life.
On July 26, 2012, the Grand Jurors of Maricopa County delivered an indictment charging Jude with one count of second degree murder. The trial jury convicted him of manslaughter, a lesser included offense of second degree murder.