Conviction in Jackson State Student's Murder PDF Print E-mail
By Tiffany Edmondson -- Black College Wire   

Justice that was long awaited by the Latasha Norman family was finally served when her ex-boyfriend Stanley Cole was sentenced to life in prison. On Monday February 22, a Hinds county jury found Cole guilty of the 2007 murder of Norman.
After the trial, Latasha’s stepfather, Danny Bolden, said they thanked God for the justice he gave their family and that they are able to move on with their lives now.

Norman was last seen alive leaving her class at Jackson State University in November of 2007. According to court documents, Cole told investigators that he and Norman left JSU and went riding in a car belonging to his new girlfriend.

Blue & White Flash
Latasha Norman poster
After an argument and fight, he said that he hit her and knocked her out. Cole then put her lifeless body in the car and rode around with her in the trunk. Rumors even circulated that he went on a double date while Norman’s body was in the trunk of the car.

Two weeks later after a nationwide search for her whereabouts and body, Stanley Cole finally confessed to detectives of the Jackson Police Department that he did kill Norman.

After admitting to killing Norman, Cole finally told JPD where Norman’s body was located. Police found her body in a wooded area near Tougaloo College. Norman’s badly decomposed body was dismembered and covered up with a cardboard box. Evidence from Norman’s autopsy showed that she had a stab womb in her chest which was inconclusive with Cole’s report of head trauma.

During the trial, Cole did not testify on his behalf. Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith said that Cole should be convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Cole’s lawyer, Matt Eichelberger, said he should be convicted of manslaughter instead.

Both, the prosecution and Cole’s defense team questioned the witnesses and the detectives that were involved in the case. Eichelberger argued that Cole did not intend to kill Norman and therefore he should be sentenced to 20 years in prison.
After Cole was convicted of murder, his lawyer started making plans to file an appeal on his behalf. “We have several issues we feel that have merit. We will look forward to putting them before the Supreme Court and letting them make a decision,” Eichelberger said.
Before sentencing Cole, Judge Swan told him that he caused Normans parents, family members and friends an enormous amount of grief.
“We are very pleased and happy for the Norman family. Latasha Norman was a beautiful young college student who did not deserve to die”, said Smith. Smith has been working on this case for more than two years.
Since then, JSU has established the Latasha Norman Center for Social and Clinical Counseling under the Division of Student Life. Every year the university host a 5K memorial run and walk in memory of her name.

This spring during the graduation ceremony, JSU is planning to give Norman an honorary degree.


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Tiffany Edmondson writes for The Blue & White Flash, the Jackson State University student newspaper, which originally published this article.



Posted Mar. 01, 2010
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