Cordell Jude Charged in April "Self Defense" Killing of Daniel Adkins

Cordell Jude was charged with second-degree murder today for shooting Daniel Adkins at a Phoenix Taco Bell drive-through in April.

Jude already admitted to killing Adkins, but maintains that he was acting in self-defense.

"Our decision to prosecute this case is based on a thorough review of the evidence gathered during an extensive investigation by our law enforcement partners, and after a separate and careful analysis of the defendant's assertion of self-defense," Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery says.

The incident between Jude and Adkins happened on April 3 at the Phoenix Taco Bell drive-through, as Adkins was walking his dog. As Jude was pulling out of the Taco Bell, he nearly hit Adkins before slamming on the brakes in time, according to police reports obtained by New Times.

Adkins began yelling at Jude, and Jude would tell police that Adkins hit his vehicle with a bat, pipe or some type of object of similar size -- which was never found.

Jude told police that he shot Adkins after he took another swing at him with the apparently imaginary pipe, using a pistol he had been carrying in his lap.

Jude always carries a pistol on his lap while driving, according to Jude's girlfriend, Ronisha Rush, who was eight-months' pregnant and in the vehicle when the shooting occurred.

Based on this photo from Jude's Twitter account, she appears to be correct:

Adkins died right there on the scene.

Jude's girlfriend called 9-1-1, and they waited in another area near the Taco Bell for police to arrive.

Jude would later tell cops that he thought he was in danger, but didn't think he was going to be killed, according to the police report.

A witness driving in the car behind Jude in the drive-through line told police that he saw Adkins swing at the car, but saw nothing in his hand.

It remains unclear what specific new evidence or conclusions were discovered that led to today's indictment.

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office did not immediately return New Times' request for comment.

Aside from taking a little vacation to Detroit (according to his Twitter page), Jude was also picked up by the cops on July 14 on drugs and weapons charges.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jason Lewis
Contact: Jason Lewis