Former kidnapping suspect sentenced to 2 years probation; Husband awaiting murder trial

Published 8:47 am Friday, April 12, 2019

Izetta Cooley

Izetta Rose Cooley, 40, of Moorhead was sentenced to two years of probation for felony deprive of custody right-violation of court order-take minor on Thursday in Mower County District Court.

Two charges of felony kidnapping-to facilitate felony or flight were dismissed at the sentencing as part of a plea agreement reached on Nov. 26, 2018. An additional charge of felony deprive of custody right-violation of court order-take minor was also dismissed.

Judge Jeffrey Kritzer issued the sentence.

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Cooley captured statewide attention in September when she became a kidnapping suspect after it was reported that she had taken two of her children from a designated foster parent at a residence in the 200 block of Elm Street in Rose Creek on the evening of Sept. 29, 2018.

Court documents state that a relative at the house said Cooley told him she was coming to get her kids, despite the Clay County Court having given custody of her children to Clay County Social Services.

Cooley, with assistance from her son, Morgan, took two children from the house, even though the court order required them to remain at the Rose Creek residence.

Cooley was arrested on Oct. 2 at a residence in Moorhead, where law enforcement recovered the two children taken from Rose Creek as well as two children reported missing out of Moorhead. Morgan was reported missing until he turned himself in to Moorhead police on Oct. 5.

Cooley’s husband, Miguel Jay Cooley, 45, is a suspect in the Sept. 23 shooting death of 20-year-old Gabriel Perez in Fargo, North Dakota. Surveillance footage taken from a Fargo McDonald’s parking lot where the shooting occurred allegedly showed Miguel pull into the lot in a dark Chevy Trailblazer and fire several shots at Perez, who was sitting on the curb, according to a previous story. Perez ran for a short distance before collapsing. Law enforcement found Perez dead at the scene with multiple gunshot wounds.

Miguel was arrested on Sept. 24 at a residence in Rose Creek after fleeing the Fargo-Moorhead area. He was extradited to the Cass County Jail in Fargo, where he is currently awaiting trial on a felony intentional murder charge.

As part of the probation, Cooley must also follow 21 conditions and pay $135 in fees. She received credit for 11 days served in jail.