Caught in the Net is investigating the murder of Maurice Skeen, who was stabbed by Darius “Draino” Cokely in the chest during a street brawl in Albany, New York, in 2020.
An argument began on social media when Skeen’s teenage cousin allegedly made a crass and insensitive comment about a 22-year-old woman, a friend of Cokely’s, who had recently passed away.
On March 18, 2020, an enraged Cokely went to the home of the teenager’s grandmother on the city’s Madison Avenue armed with a knife.
During a subsequent brawl that involved up to 30 people, Cokely stabbed Skeen in the chest. The victim was transported to the Albany Medical Center but was pronounced dead a short time later.
Skeen’s grandmother, Tracy Coleman, who had raised him since he was five, recalled how dozens of people came to her home looking for a fight over the social media comment.
She told reporters that for her grandson, “family was always first” and “he died protecting family.”
Darius Cokely guilty of plunging knife into Maurice Skeen’s chest
This case was greatly aided by video footage, which appeared to show Cokely plunging the knife into Skeen’s chest. Despite the evidence against him, he still chose to plead not guilty.Watch the Latest on our YouTube Channel
However, a jury found Cokely guilty of second-degree murder, and he was sentenced to the maximum possible sentence of 25 years to life.
At the sentencing, Coleman claimed that if Cokely had taken responsibility for killing her grandson, she would have supported his early release in front of a parole board.
However, because Cokely pleaded not guilty, Coleman was unforgiving of the killer’s fate. She told him, “I saw you, Draino. I saw you lunge at my grandson. I saw you stab my baby. I saw you murder my grandson.”
She added, “I just want you to own it. It wasn’t just Maurice. You came to kill whatever was in front of you.”
Darius Cokely showed zero remorse for killing Maurice Skeen
Albany County Judge Andra Ackerman called the murder a “calculated shot right to the heart” and dismissed the defense’s appeals for clemency on account of their client’s young age and clean record.
Ackerman cited an “utter lack” of remorse as part of her decision to impose the maximum sentence.
Caught in the Net airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.