After 21 years, Cookie can rest in peace

The man who raped and murdered his 7-year-old cousin, Cookie Dean, just yards from her Laurel home back in 1985 pleaded guilty in court Thursday.

Reginald Calhoun is already serving a life sentence for another murder he committed over 20 years ago.

Police investigator Layne Bounds says once authorities questioned Calhoun a second time about the Dean case he was ready to confess to a murder that had haunted him for years.

Cookie's mother Willie Mae Dean says she has only one request of the man who murdered her daughter: that he get saved. She says she has forgiven him.

Jones County District Attorney Anthony Buckley says he's glad the family now has closure after 21 years.

Calhoun was sentenced to life, but he will be eligible for parole in 10 years because he was sentenced under the law as it existed in 1986.