Paula Cooper


Age: 45

Summary: convicted murderer who was once the nation's youngest death row inmate for a murder she committed as a teenager when she was sentenced to death in 1986 at age 16 after confessing to her role in the brutal murder of 78-year-old Bible studies teacher Ruth Pelke in Gary, Indiana in 1985, who admitted stabbing the victim at least 33 times with a 12-inch butcher knife in a robbery that netted $10 and an old car but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that sentencing juveniles to death row constituted cruel and unusual punishment and was thus unconstitutional just two years after her sentencing, and who was later released from prison on June 17, 2013 after spending 28 years behind bars.

Cause of Death: Suicide by self-inflicted gunshot wound

Born: August 25, 1969

Died: May 26, 2015

Indianapolis, Indiana