Just under a year ago, 82-year-old Pauline Cook was found dead inside her apartment at the OakBridge Terrace Assisted Living facility between Rock Hill and York.
Investigators said at the time Cook’s badly bruised body was found inside her shower on a Sunday morning. Braquette Walton, then 30, was arrested days later after officers connected her to a previous report of stolen checks worth $1,300.
Investigators said Walton wrote four checks from Cook’s BB&T account and linked the murder to the stolen checks after a coroner’s report said Cook’s injuries were inconsistent with a report that she fell the morning of her death.
Late Thursday night, a jury convicted Walton of murder and multiple counts of forgery and exploitation of a vulnerable adult.
Friday morning, OakBridge Terrace Assisted Living Residences e-mailed us the following statement:
“Today, a jury in the criminal trial of Braquette Walton returned a verdict of guilty to the counts of Murder, Forgery, Burglary, and Exploitation and Abuse of a Vulnerable Adult. The victim of these offenses was our beloved resident, Pauline Cook. This stage of the criminal process has run its course and we intend to move on. We wish to thank the Rock Hill Police Department, the York County investigators, and York County’s Solicitor’s Office for their work and professionalism on this case.
No verdict can undo this senseless act, but we do hope this judgment helps Pauline’s family and friends along their path to healing. Our thoughts and prayers remain with them.
As a community, we remain deeply saddened by the tragic passing of one of our dear family members. We are a close-knit, faith-based community and are still in the healing process. We hope the end to this painful chapter will now serve as a new beginning for our community and allow us to move forward, with God’s grace, in our recovery efforts. We appreciate all of the support that we have had, and continue to receive, from our residents and the local community.”