Monday, August 4, 2014

Trial set for dad who had "joint shared custody"; charged with murdering 5-month-old son (Pulaski County, Virginia)

What idiotic judge gave this obviously volatile and violent father joint custody of an infant? The judge must have known he was a threat, because the poor mother was ordered to supervise all his visits and  keep the baby “within sight and hearing” at all times. That is a huge burden to put on this mother. How is a lone woman supposed to keep a vicious criminal in line? It's as if she were set up to fail, and then trashed for it.

Dad is identified as HOWARD COLE.

Two week jury trial set in Pulaski County capital murder case

Posted: Monday, August 4, 2014 10:49 am

By Melissa Powell

A two-week jury trial is scheduled for June in the capital murder case of a Pulaski father accused of killing his 5-month-old son.

Howard Cole, 32, appeared briefly in Pulaski County Circuit Court on Monday so that his case could be set, county Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Fleenor said. The trial is scheduled to begin June 1, 2015.

In addition to capital murder, Cole is facing a charge of illegal disposal of a body. Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty for Cole.

Infant Cory Cole was first reported missing Jan. 29 by his mother, who told police that her fiance, Howard Cole, had left with the infant. She signed an arrest warrant affidavit on that same day accusing Cole of abusing Cory.

When Cole was arrested on a child abuse charge Jan. 30, Cory Cole was not with him. He was questioned as to the infant’s whereabouts and well-being, and later led detectives to a rural area where he said he had taken and left the infant, according to a search warrant filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court.

Cory Cole’s body was located Jan. 30 in a rural area of Draper off Old Route 100. Whether the infant had been alive when he was abandoned in the woods was not clear in the warrant.

Cory Cole’s mother, Samantha Warden, 30, separately is facing one count of felony child neglect. She was indicted on that charge in July, and a hearing date in her case is scheduled to be set on Sept. 4.

At Warden’s preliminary hearing in May, county Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Justin Griffith called two Pulaski County investigators to the stand to testify that Warden — also known as Samantha Anna-Jane Taylor — and Howard Cole shared joint custody of the child, but Warden was supposed to supervise visits between the boy and his father. The child was supposed to stay “within sight and hearing,” according to a custody agreement read aloud in court.

Warden told police that on Jan. 26, she watched Howard Cole abuse Cory Cole when he “flung” the boy onto a bed.

The next day, the mother and father got into an argument and Warden left the child with Howard Cole, according to testimony.

Both Cole and Warden are being held in the New River Valley Regional Jail, according to online records