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Daniel Copple Found Guilty of Elbow Room Murders

Daniel Copple moments after being sentenced in the murders of Bennett Mann and Mark Caudill

Daniel Copple was found guilty early Thursday afternoon on two counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault.

The jury returned the verdicts at 1:35 p.m. after nearly two hours of delibertaion.

With public defender Steve Wallace at his side, Copple sat stone faced as he learned of his fate.

Judge Jim Kitchens ordered a pre-sentencing investigation and Copple was taken into custody.

The investigation took approximately 30 minutes and when Copple returned the courtroom, Kitchens gave him an opportunity to speak.

Turning to address the gathered audience of Caudill and Mann’s fmaily and friends, Copple said:

“I know this has been a difficult time for everybody. I never had intensions of hurting anyone…I’m not really sure what happened.”

Copple began to choke up as he continued, saying “From the bottom of my heart, I’m sorry. Please forgive me.”

The results of the presentencing investigation found Copple to have been convicted of two counts of misdemeanor domestic violence in Colorado and, according to Copple “Many, many more.” Copple was also found to have a lengthy history of cocaine, meth and alcohol abuse.

Addressing Copple, Kitchens said, perhaps history has been some sort of a hint. I don’t know, I don’t know if we’ll ever know.”

Both charges of murder carry a mandatory life sentence. The charge of aggravated assault against then-bartender, Mike Ward, carries a maximum of 20 years.

Kitchens sentenced Copple to two life sentences to run consecutive for the murders. He then sentenced Copple to 15 years for the assault charge which will also run consecutive.




  1. JohnnyPhillipMorris

    Was there evidence that Copple was on any drug other than the “legal” ethyl alcohol drug sold and promoted by the State of Mississippi ABC?

    If the Elbow Room had been a “pot den,” none of this would’ve ever happened and our streets and highways would be safe to drive on again.

  2. Sequoia Copple

    That murderous son of a b***h you are all talking about is my father. He knows that what he did was wrong and he is very sorry for it. And to the two families who lost someone because of my dad’s actions, you have every right to be upset, but just remember that your not the only ones who lost someone in this. I lost my father and my 3 kids lost there grandfather.

  3. G.L. Baldwin

    There are multiple reasons as to WHY things happen. In early 2001, as a newly turned 18 adult, I was homeless and fortunate enough to stumble onto a checkbook that belonged to someone else. Never having had a checking acct, I didn’t know how to utilize it to my advantage.I knew it was wrong to take a checkbook, but had no idea that it was a felony, punishable by 10 years at parchman. Mr caudill found out I had this checkbook and offered to let me stay at his house, as long as he would benefit from my newfound fortune. He walked me through the steps to use this account to our favor. 14 counts of uttering forgery later (12 of which were for alcohol) mr caudill hung me out to dry with a statement to CPD and he never served a day. This incident happened in 2010 only a week after I flattened the 10 year sentence I received for buying alcohol for mark, with checks that didn’t belong to me, when I was 18 years old. None of the store or bar owners received any kind of punishment for selling the alcohol to a MINOR, and I had to pay restitution on these checks.so R.I.P mark caudill. Justice is truly GODs business.

    • Kathy Hannah

      G.L. Baldwin I will pray that you can find forgivness in your soul so that you can move on with your life.. You found a check book, you decided, with the help and teaching of Maek, to USE it YOURSELF, to buy alcohol that I am sure you also drank, you had a place to lay your head at night and party- life was “good”- until you got caught anbd had to pay for YOUR crimes..so Mark turned his back on you and let you be the fall guy- my ex husbanbd did the same thing to me- I did fed time for it- but I had to face up and realize MY part in it all- the people I cheated and hurt- the stores I cheated it did not matter what he did- what HE got away with- it only mattered what I did- and who I hurt- and now today- what I can do to be a better person, and what I can to to fix my past and make things right..do I wish to harm my ex for his part NO way- do I wish him death of course not- MAN UP GL

  4. jeanne polehonki

    I seriously cannot believe the corruption that has taken place in this case. Not one statement was ever taken from Dan. His so called public defender is a total and complete liar and had no intention of ever trying to represent Dan. All of his rights were violated and nothing was done about it. I read 3 signed statements from Mike Ward the so called “deciding factor” and his story changed all 3 times. His first one said he heard shots, hit the floor and never left the back room. Also that he never saw the man run out. Later he came up with a completely different story and then another one. Everything about this case is corrupt. Dan was convicted because he didn’t have the money to hire a private lawyer, one that would actually do their job. Well its not over yet. By any means

  5. G.L. Baldwin

    This case shouldnt have even made it to the grand jury. This is an attempt by the city of columbus to make up for murders they did not solve. This was self defense, in columbus, the TRUTH has NEVER mattered

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