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Man convicted in 1963 of murder not diligent in pursuing appeal

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has denied George Cole’s petition for permission to file a belated notice of appeal following his 1963 murder conviction of a cab driver in Indianapolis and life sentence.

Cole agreed to plead guilty to the killing as second degree murder but later sought to withdraw his plea, which was denied. In 1969, he filed a petition for post-conviction relief, which was denied. In 1971, Cole escaped from prison and wasn’t caught until 2001. Then, he filed several petitions and motions but none sought permission to file a belated notice of appeal.

Cole claims he didn’t learn that he could seek permission to file a belated appeal until April 2012, when he filed his petition. The trial court determined Cole wasn’t credible in claiming he had just learned of the possibility of filing a belated notice of appeal and denied his petition.

In George Cole v. State of Indiana, 29A02-1301-CR-4, Cole maintained he was diligent because he pursued the petition as soon as he learned from a fellow inmate that he could do so. He also points to his numerous other filings to demonstrate that he would have pursued the belated appeal had he known of the option.

“However, the trial court explicitly found that Cole was not credible in claiming he had just learned of the possibility of filing a belated notice of appeal. We may not disturb that credibility determination on appeal,” Senior Judge Betty Barteau wrote.

“Given that the trial court did not believe Cole’s claim as well as the fact that nearly five decades had passed from the time of his conviction until he finally sought an appeal under Post-Conviction Rule 2, we cannot say the court abused its discretion by concluding Cole was not diligent in pursuing permission to file a belated notice of appeal and by thus denying his petition for permission to file a belated notice of appeal.”

 

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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