After 18 years in prison, Rock Hill man killed his friend. He’s returning for 18 more.

·1 min read

A South Carolina felon who spent 18 years in prison will return for another 18 years after pleading guilty to beating a friend to death with a hammer in Rock Hill, records show.

Jerod Juan Cook, 39, had been out of prison for a month in 2020 when he was arrested. He was sentenced to 18 years in prison Tuesday after he pleaded guilty in York County criminal court to voluntary manslaughter in the beating death of John Ferrell II, court records show.

Cook had spent 18 years in prison in the S.C. Department of Corrections for armed robbery, assault with intent to kill, burglary and other crimes until he was released in May 2020, according to court records and prosecutors.

Ferrell was found dead in his apartment in June 2020. Cook and Ferrell, 59, knew each other, said Misti Shelton, 16th Circuit assistant solicitor. Ferrell’s DNA was found on clothes in Cook’s apartment, Shelton said.

Cook had originally been charged by Rock Hill police with murder in Ferrell’s death. Prosecutors and Cook agreed to a negotiated plea and 18-year sentence, Shelton said.

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