06/18/2013 11:03 am ET

Bill Pelke, Grandson Of Woman Murdered By Paula Cooper, Wants To Take Killer Shopping

The grandson of an elderly woman who was brutally murdered in 1985 wants to take her killer shopping.

ABC News reports that Bill Pelke is expecting a call from Paula Cooper, who was sentenced to die at age 16 for killing 78-year-old Ruth Pelke. Cooper was set free on Monday.

"I’m hoping we’ll get together for a meal and do some shopping," Pelke told ABC News. "I have a friend who wants to buy her a couple of outfits."

Pelke has previously spoken in support of Cooper, as did Pope John Paul II.

"I became convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that my grandmother would have had love and compassion for Paula Cooper and her family," Pelke told CNN. "I felt she wanted someone in my family to have that same sort of love and compassion. I didn't have any but was so convinced that's what she would have wanted, I begged God to give me love and compassion for Paula Cooper and her family and do that on behalf of my grandmother."

The Associated Press has more details on Cooper's case:

Cooper was 15 years old when she used a butcher knife to cut Ruth Pelke 33 times during a robbery in Gary that ended in Pelke's death. Her three companions received lighter sentences but Cooper confessed to the killing and in 1986, at age 16, she became the youngest person on death row in the country.

In 1988, Indiana's state Supreme Court reduced Cooper's sentence to 60 years. Her sentence was brought down further by her good behavior behind bars.



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