DAYTONA BEACH, Florida – An 18-year-old woman in high school was sentenced to twenty years for her part in concocting a dating app carjacking heist that resulted in the death of another teen.
Ky’Andrea Cook was sentenced 20 years for on a carjacking charge, 15 years for attempted carjacking with a deadly weapon and 15 years for a battery felony. The sentences are concurrent.
According to the News-Journal, Cook’s mother wailed and dropped to the floor in dramatic fashion as her daughter received the sentence from Circuit Judge Matthew Foxman in the Daytona Beach courtroom. Thanks to a plea agreement, a conspiracy charge -which carried a maximum penalty of life in prison- was dropped.
Cook and an accomplice lured 27-year-old Palm Coast resident Perry Nida via a dating app to a remote location where she would purchase marijuana from him and later have sex with her. However, neither party was alone on that fateful night in March- Nida brought 17-year-old Immanuel Pursel with him and Cook’s boyfriend was hiding in the bushes, armed and ready to ambush Pursel.
When Nida became suspicious, he hid the marijuana in a bush before picking up Cook. Cook claimed she needed to go get money. Upon her return, she and an armed masked man got into the backseat.
The masked man -armed with a laser-equipped pistol- initially attempted to steal the truck but was pushed out by Pursel. Firing two rounds, he struck Pursel once in the abdomen. The bullet could not be removed.
“The second bullet went through my son,” Pursel’s mother, Vickie Arends, said. “The bullet went through his stomach, through his liver, through his intestines and now rests in the pelvic area. It missed his heart by a half an inch.”
The first bullet reportedly went through Pursel’s hat and embedded into the truck’s frame.
While Cook gave the name of the possible shooter, no other suspects have been charged. According to Arends, Cook’s initial resistance to cooperation slowed the investigation down.
“It broke my heart to know that it was somebody that was so young,” Arends told the judge. “But at the same time, I look at what it’s done to my son. He’s never going to be himself again. Had she come forward and been honest from the get-go, we might be looking at the shooter here instead of an 18-year-old girl.”
Despite Cook’s written pleas of leniency- citing that she was an honor student and did not pull the trigger- the Judge Foxman took into account that Cook is just as responsible for the wounding of Purcel.
“This was intentional. It was an orchestrated ambush. And you are a main part of that,” Foxman said. “For that I’m going to adjudicate you guilty for all three charges and sentence you to 20 years in state prison.”
Cook’s public defender, Frank Scott, said he was surprised by the 20-year sentence.
“It was tough to see a young girl like that throw her life away making bad choices,” he said.