Thursday, July 29, 2010

Dates set for 2nd Cole murder trial

by Tom Nadeau

Suspected killer Todd Allen Cole Jr. will be re-tried starting Sept. 21 for the death of Scott Malmstrom, a Yuba County judge ordered Wednesday.

The jury selection will be preceded by pre-trial hearings currently scheduled for Aug. 9 and for Sept. 7 and 9, Superior Court Judge Kathleen O’Connor ordered.

A mistrial was declared in the first proceedings in People v. Cole, YCSC case #CRF-09-469, after the jury announced it was deadlocked and unable to reach a unanimous verdict.

News reports indicated the jury has hung, 10-2, with the majority favoring a guilty verdict.

Cole is charged with stabbing Scott Malmstrom to death July 2009 in Malmstrom’s apartment in the 1400 block of North Beale Road in East Linda.

Further details ...

Malmstrom was stabbed 17 times. Investigators claimed to have found Cole’s finger- and foot-prints in the victim’s blood.

The jury could have found Cole innocent; or guilty of either voluntary manslaughter, or murder in the second degree.

Deputy District Attorney John Vacek led the prosecution team. Soon after the mistrial was declared, he told an Appeal-Democrat reporter he would seek a second trial.
Cole was represented by Deputy Public Defender Brian Davis.

Attorneys will report more specifically about any pre-trial motions they may be considering when the parties meet Aug. 9.

They will meet in court at 1:30 p.m. for a trial readiness conference and any in limine motions will be heard and considered at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 20.

In limine is a Latin legal term meaning "at the threshold.") Such motions are formal requests made before a trial commences asking the judge to rule whether or not certain evidence is or is not admissible at trial.


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