Chace Cook faces death penalty for allegedly killing ex

Chace Cook (Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office), Madeline Bills in a Northeastern Oklahoma A&M basketball uniform (image via the school’s tribute to Bills)

Prosecutors in Oklahoma are pursuing capital punishment for a 20-year-old man accused of raping and killing his ex-girlfriend inside her family’s pool house last year.

The Cleveland County District Attorney’s Office this week formally filed documents in court declaring their intention to seek the death penalty for Chace Cook in the slaying of 18-year-old star high school basketball player Madeline “Maddie” Bills, court records reviewed by Law&Crime show.

Cook was arrested last May and charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of first-degree rape in the fatal attack on Bills, which took place on April 22, 2023.

“Our office filed a Bill of Particulars for the Death Penalty against Defendant Chace Cook. The decision to seek the death penalty was not made lightly,” the DA’s office said in a news release after the filing was submitted. “After reviewing the evidence of the case and speaking to the family, it is our position that the death penalty is a fair and just punishment to seek in light of this defendant’s crimes. Our priority is to seek justice for Madeline Bills, and our hearts go out to her family and friends as they continue to grieve.”

In the filing, the state claims there is enough evidence to prove the requisite aggravating factors for capital punishment, including that the alleged crime was “especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel,” Oklahoma City CBS affiliate KWTV reported.

The victim’s family reportedly also released a statement in support of the DA pursuing capital punishment.

“We fully support their decision to seek the death penalty for the defendant. We believe that this is an appropriate sentence given the heinous nature of the crime and the devastating impact on our family and community.”

As previously reported by Law&Crime, Bills had once confided in friends that because “she was so scared of [Cook]” and feared “he would come to harm her,” she had “planned to sleep inside the main residence” at her home rather than in the converted pool house where the family later found her dead.

An affidavit said Cook voluntarily offered an alibi, claiming he was in Galveston, Texas, from April 16 to April 23 for training to become a Navy SEAL “in the ocean.” Authorities said that the purported alibi quickly unraveled, and they indicated it didn’t take much research to poke holes in the story.

“He further advised he traveled to Galveston this was an approximately 2 1/2 to 3-hour drive from the Oklahoma City area to Galveston, TX,” the affidavit said. “It should be noted that the drive from Oklahoma City to Galveston is over 7 hours, according to Google Maps.”

Cops said the interview ended when the suspect asked for a lawyer. That allegedly happened after investigators told Cook they had proof he was in the area when and where the crimes occurred.

A neighbor’s surveillance video allegedly showed a black Ford Fusion in the neighborhood and a suspect climbing the fence into the victim’s backyard. Investigators allegedly have evidence, too, that will prove Cook’s cellphone was “in the area of the victim’s residence” when the murder took place.

The Moore Police Department said that the Ford Fusion in question is the same vehicle stopped in February because the driver, Cook, wasn’t wearing a seat belt.

Chace Cook traffic stop

A still image of Chace Cook’s traffic stop in February for not wearing a seat belt (News 9 YouTube/screengrab)

Authorities believe that Cook is the individual who climbed the fence — first at 4:38 a.m. and then again at 6:42 a.m. on April 22.

Investigators also found a video on the defendant’s cellphone that allegedly shows Cook raping Bills, who was described as appearing “unconscious” in the video.

“Cook’s DNA matched the DNA obtained from swabs taken during the initial on-scene investigation and during the autopsy of the victim,” the affidavit said.

An obituary for Madeline Bills said that the member of the Osage Tribe “made an incredible impact on many lives” and “strove to see the good in people.”

A high school senior with a 4.0 GPA, Bills had “recently signed a letter of intent to play women’s basketball at Northeastern A&M in Miami, Oklahoma, in the fall under Coach Jim Rowland.”

Matt Naham contributed to this report.

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