By Christie Post - email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – A new book about the Timothy Cole case hits the shelves. It's called A Plea for Justice: The Timothy Cole Story by Fred McKinley.
Timothy Cole's brother Reggie Kennard remembers the trial like it was yesterday. "When I got back from the trial I sat on the curb and for about two hours because I couldn't believe what happened. Nobody's been in trouble."
Cole was a Fort Worth native and studying business at Texas Tech in 1985, when he was sent to prison. He served 14 years, then died from complications of asthma in 1999 after being wrongfully convicted of the 1985 rape of a Texas Tech student. DNA testing later proved his innocence. "It was very hard for a long time, I was there the whole time. Tim and I were roommates," said Kennard.
Author Fred McKinley said he saw Timothy Cole's story on the 5 o'clock news and noticed his son was the same age as Cole. "I asked the question what if my son was in a situation like this and what if no one believed him."
With McKinley's background as an criminal investigator and historian, he said he wanted to write the story and tell the truth about the criminal justice system.
McKinley said the family did not want to be involved in the book because Cole's story did not have an end. "I had the police reports and the 1,200 and some odd pages of court testimony."
Attorney for the innocent, Kevin Glasheen said, "It's important that Tim Cole's story be told and this does not happen again to anybody else.
Now a year and a half later the book is finished and the family said they have some what of a closure with Cole's story out in the public.
Kennard, Cole's brother said he read the book in one night. "All the police reports and all the court documents, everything in this book is fact."
"I hope people understand that eye witness testimony is part of the process not the entire process," said author McKinley.
"It's still not going to take back what happened, but still I wish DNA was around back then," said Kennard.
In March of 2010 Texas Governor Rick Perry granted Timothy Cole a posthumous pardon. The family commends the Gov. Perry for his actions toward the case. "They are not bitter or angry but instead they want to take this terrible tragedy and make something positive happen from it, said Glasheen who helped write the Timothy Cole Act.
Glasheen said this act will help others who are innocent, "now if somebody is wrongfully convicted and dies in prison, that claims survives their death and can be brought by the estate."
The family encourages people to read the book to find out what happened to their beloved Timothy Cole. A book signing with the author will be held at the Barnes and Nobles in the South Plains Mall Saturday at 3 p.m.
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