Testimony begins in Stanley Cole murder trial - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Testimony begins in Stanley Cole murder trial

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By David Kenney - bio | email

After six days of jury selection, testimony is finally underway Wednesday in the Stanley Cole murder trial.

The 26-year-old is accused of murdering J.S.U. student Latasha Norman in 2007.

In opening arguments, District Attorney Robert Smith depicted Latasha Norman's murder as one of the worst ever in Hinds County.

Prosecutors said that Cole knocked Latasha unconscious during a fight and hid her body in the trunk of a car for several days while investigators and her family searched for her.

"He hit her in the face like a man, busts her lip, and messes her face up," said Smith.

Prosecutors said they found DNA evidence that matched Latasha in Stanley Cole's new girlfriend's car.  

Cole finally confessed and led investigators to her body, three weeks after she disappeared. 

Stanley Cole's defense attorneys contend it was a mistake and that Cole panicked after he allegedly punched her unconscious.

"She's not responding, he checks for her pulse and can't find one. He puts her in the trunk, that's an awful thing, but putting her in the trunk, doesn't make it murder," said Public Defender Matt Eichelberger.

In addition to DNA evidence, prosecutors said they have motive.  Latasha was set to testify against him in Pearl, where she filed aggravated assault charges against him.

Latasha's step-father, Danny Bolden was the first to take the stand, describing Latasha as a good student with a bubbly attitude.

Testimony in the case continues Thursday morning.

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