A man who killed a policeman during a botched carjacking avoided a potential death sentence by pleading guilty on Monday.
Timothy Cole, 48, pleaded guilty to the September 12, 2018 murder and armed robbery of Inspector Carlis Blatch, then-aide-de-camp to former Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling, before his trial began before Justice Bernard Turner.
Cole ordered Blatch out of a blue Hyundai Elantra, license plate number AH2087, as he waited to pick up his child from the H.O. Nash Junior High School, prosecutor Terry Archer told the court.
Blatch got out of the car, but produced his police-issued revolver, and was shot in the head during the gun-battle that followed, Archer said.
Cole drove off in the vehicle, which he later abandoned.
Two witnesses identified Cole as the gunman and a third witness saw Cole fleeing from the car, Archer said.
Archer recommended a sentence of 34-and-half-years for murder, reduced to 33 years taking into account the time Cole had spent in custody.
Turner accepted the sentencing recommendation on the murder charge and imposed a sentence of 18 years for the armed robbery. The sentences will run at the same time.
Turner said, “This is one of the few types of murder that are death eligible. There is no suggestion, from the facts, the incident was related to his status as a police officer, or an aide. It seems to be an armed robbery gone wrong.”
Turner told Cole that his sentence could be shortened by one-third with credit for good behavior. He said, “That would effectively provide you with an opportunity that Mr. Blatch does not have.”
Turner implored Cole, a self-employed welder, to take advantage of any vocational opportunities available at the prison.
Cole was represented by public defenders Stanley Rolle and Dorsey McPhee.