Monday, September 27, 2010

Cole gets 14 years for killing Malmstrom

by Tom Nadeau

A Yuba County judge sentenced Todd Allen Cole Jr. Monday to 14 years in state prison for the 2009 manslaughter of Scott Malmstrom.

Cole was tried for first-degree murder in the gruesome stabbing murder, but the jury hung. He was to be retried in People v. Cole, #09-469, but agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter.

Malmstrom was found dead July 2009 in his apartment in the 1400 block of North Beale Road, East Linda. He had been stabbed some 17 times.

Crime called 'disgusting, horrible' ..

The main wound was a slashed throat. There were two other significant stab wounds. The remainder were described as comparatively minor “poking” wounds..

Citing a “high degree of viciousness” in the attack, Judge Kathleen O’Connor gave Cole 11 years for the killing. She then added one year to the term because a knife was used and then two more years over that because Cole had a prior felony record when he committed the act.

A letter from Cindy Miller, the sister of the victim and a Sacramento resident, was read aloud in court. In it, Miller called the crime “disgusting, horrific” and urged O’Connor to levy the maximum possible sentence.

Defense attorney Brian Davis asked O’Connor to consider a lesser sentence, saying the picture of the crime as painted by sheriff’s investigators did not accurately report the true circumstances of the incident.

Davis said Cole was much smaller than Malmstrom, that Malmstrom was the aggressor, that there were sexual overtones to the reason Malmstrom attacked Cole and that the nature of the wounds Malmstron received were “poking” wounds indicating Cole was just trying to fend off Malmstrom.

Deputy District Attorney John Vacek said Cole had “shown no remorse,” as revealed by the fact that he left the scene of the crime – a small apartment where the victim’s blood had gushed to the floors, walls and ceiling – and did not report the crime.


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