JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - It took jurors just over two hours to return a guilty verdict against Stanley Cole, for the 2007 murder of Latasha Norman.
After days of showing little emotion in the courtroom, Stanley Cole finally broke down as his verdict was read, followed by a scolding from Judge Swan Yerger.
Judge Yerger told him, "You have caused her parents and other family members and friends enormous grief as punishment from this murder, you are hereby automatically sentenced to life in prison."
For Latasha Norman's family, finally a sense of closure to an emotional, tragic journey. From her disappearance November 13th, 2007, to Cole's arrest nearly three weeks after that and now a conviction.
During testimony, it was revealed that Latasha died from a stab wound to the chest, and that Cole stuffed her body in the trunk of his girlfriend's car, and drove around with her there for days before dumping her in a north Jackson field. He finally admitted his involvement to investigators working Latasha's disappearance, leading them right to her body.
"We don't get no joy out of this, were just thankful to god that he gave us justice, that's all we wanted was justice," said Latasha's stepfather Danny Bolden, as he walked out of the courtroom with tears streaming down his face.
Jurors were not given an option of manslaughter for a verdict. Cole's attorney Matt Eichelberger had hoped he had put enough doubt in the courts mind to allow it, implying Cole never intended to kill Latasha.
"I think everyone could see he took it pretty hard but like I say, we look forward to the appellate process and I fell that it will vindicate us," said Eichelberger.
A building will soon bare Latasha's name at Jackson State. Prosecutors and Latasha's family hope the guilty verdict is also a victory for victims of domestic violence.
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