WETUMPKA—In a surprising mid-trial development, Bruce Cole entered a guilty plea Thursday morning to one count of sodomy.
He was being tried in Elmore County Circuit court in three counts of sodomy where the victim was a 13-year-old girl. Circuit Judge Sibley Reynolds ordered Cole, 37, to be taken into custody by the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office until his sentencing which is set for Aug. 7.
Bruce Cole pleaded guilty to one count of sodomy, where the victim was a 13-year-old girl.
Marty Roney/ Advertiser
The victim sat in the courtroom and sobbed as Reynolds read the plea agreement in open court. Less than 24 hours earlier she spent about an hour and a half on the stand telling jurors how Cole sodomized her on three occasions over the period of about a year. She left the courtroom with her mother before Cole rose and approached the bench.
There was still a little drama to play out in a dramatic trial, as Reynolds asked Cole what he did to make him guilty. Assistant District Attorney Kristy Peoples recited the state’s evidence, but Cole stood shaking his head.
“Mr. Cole, did you do this?” Reynolds asked two times, only to have Cole shake his head no.
Reynolds then handed the plea agreement over the bench and became visibly upset.
“Mr Cole, I don’t play games with whether you did it or not!” Reynolds said. “Did you do this?”
“Yes, sir,” Cole said in a barley audible whisper, lowering his head.
“And it occurred in Elmore County?” Reynolds followed up, his voice still having an edge.
“Yes, sir,” Cole said, again in a low whisper.
The deal calls for a 10 year sentence, the minimum punishment for the crime. The victim and her family…
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