Government Police/Fire

Man Involved in 2009 Kidnapping and Murder of West Hartford Man Sentenced to Life in Prison

A Bloomfield man was sentenced Friday to life in prison for his role in the 2009 kidnapping and murder of Charles Teasley of West Hartford.

News Release  

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Harold Cook, also known as “Oink,” 42, of Bloomfield, was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to life in prison for his role in the kidnapping, robbery and the execution-style murder of Charles Teasley, 35, of West Hartford, in January 2009.

According to evidence presented during trial, on Jan. 12, 2009, Hartford Police responded to Colebrook Street in response to a 911 call concerning a dead body being found in the back seat of a vehicle parked on the street. Upon arrival, Charles Teasley was found dead in the back seat of his own vehicle, a 1999 Acura TL. He had suffered multiple gunshot wounds to his head and face, and his hands were zip-tied behind his back.

The investigation revealed that Cook, Gerund Mickens, Terrell Hunter, and Jesus Ashanti were involved in committing armed robberies of persons they believed to be drug dealers operating in the greater Hartford area.

On Jan. 9, 2009, an individual advised Cook that he had arranged to conduct a cocaine transaction with Teasley. The individual provided the particulars of the planned transaction to Cook so that Teasley could be kidnapped and robbed of drugs and money.

After Teasley arrived at the arranged location, Cook, Mickens, Hunter, and Ashanti kidnapped Teasley by using zip-ties to bind his hands and forcing him back into the rear seat of  his own vehicle. In the vehicle, they threatened Teasley at gunpoint, assaulted him and forced him to make a telephone call directing his girlfriend to bring to Cook, Mickens, Hunter and Ashanti a safe that Teasley had kept at his and his girlfriend’s West Hartford residence. They drove to the residence and acquired the safe. 

Cook, Mickens, and Hunter then drove Teasley to the Colebrook Street area of Hartford, and Ashanti followed them in a separate car. On the way, Cook and Hunter shot Teasley in the head causing his death.

After arriving on Colebrook Street, Cook, Micken,s and Hunter left the Acura and Teasley’s body, and then fled the area in the car driven by Ashanti.

Cook, Mickens, and Hunter have been detained since their arrests on April 4, 2017. On August 21, 2018, a jury found them guilty of one count of kidnapping resulting in death, one count of using a firearm during a kidnapping and causing a death, and one count of using a firearm during a Hobbs Act robbery and causing a death.

On Jan. 13, 2020, Judge Underhill sentenced Mickens to life in prison. Hunter awaits sentencing and also faces a mandatory term of life imprisonment.

Ashanti pleaded guilty to related charges on July 16, 2018, and also awaits sentencing.

This investigation has been conducted by the FBI’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Gang Task Force, Hartford Police Department and the Cold Case Homicide Unit of the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney. The Task Force includes members of the Hartford Police Department, East Hartford Police Department, Connecticut State Police and Connecticut Department of Correction.

The case is being prosecuted by U.S. Attorney Durham, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jocelyn C. Kaoutzanis and Peter D. Markle, and Assistant State’s Attorney Andrew Reed Durham, who has been cross-designated as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in this matter.

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