Widowed Detroit cop arrested after 2nd man admits 7 killings

By COREY WILLIAMS,
Associated Press Writer

A police sergeant was arrested after a man charged with two murders told investigators he was responsible for at least seven contract killings, including the shooting of the sergeant's wife, authorities said Monday.

In what Detroit Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings called an ambush, Sgt. David Cobb's wife, Rose Cobb, was shot Dec. 26 as she waited in the couple's van as he shopped at a pharmacy.

Cobb was arrested early Sunday morning at his home, Bully-Cummings said. The chief didn't offer any details about the arrest, and calls to the Wayne County jail went unanswered. Cobb was to be arraigned Tuesday.

Investigators went to Cobb's home after speaking with Vincent Smothers, 27, who was arrested Saturday in Shelby Township, about 20 miles north of Detroit, in a June 2007 drug-related shooting in which two people were killed and one was wounded.

Smothers told Detroit homicide investigators about four other cases, including the shooting death of Rose Cobb, 47, Bully-Cummings said.

"He made a living by murder for hire. He was, in plain terms, a hit man," he said.

Smothers, 27, was arraigned Monday in district court on two counts each of first-degree murder and felony murder and one count each of assault with intent to murder, being a felon in possession of a firearm and possessing a firearm during a felony. Magistrate Sidney Barthwell Jr. entered a not guilty plea on his behalf and ordered him jailed without bond until his preliminary examination May 1, calling him "an extreme danger to the community."

Investigators have three other suspects who could be charged for their roles in the seven slayings, Bully-Cummings said.

The Wayne County prosecutor's office said it didn't know if Smothers or Cobb had retained attorneys. There was no Detroit phone listing for either man.

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