LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Monday night, the family of Timothy Cole, who was wrongfully convicted of a 1985 Lubbock rape, joined in a meeting to raise awareness about their quest for answers from the city. At the meeting's end, the audience members pledged to attend October 28th's city council meeting to bring their case to the council members.
Cole died in prison in 1999, but it wasn't until this past march that Governor Rick Perry officially pardoned him after DNA testing proved his innocence. Now, the family and the victim want to know what went wrong.
The room at St. John's United Methodist Church was full by 7:30. The only empty seats in the building were those reserved for current members of city council, and other city employees who were invited to share the city's side of why Cole was wrongfully convicted.
Councilman Victor Hernandez did show up to the meeting but declined to comment. His presence was well received by the audience who gave him applause for attending.
Things were emotional right from the start as Cole's brother Cory Sessions gave his account of the process during timothy's wrongful conviction. He said to the crowd, "We ask that you join us in putting pressure on the city."
His message to the city of Lubbock? "What is taking so long? Stop the tactics. If it happened to Tim, I promise you it's happened to somebody else in this town. They might be living; they might be dead, but don't let it happen again."
City manager Lee Ann Dumbauld wrote in a public statement that city employees from the time of Cole's wrongful conviction no longer work for the city now. Tim's mother Ruby also spoke, along with the rape victim, Michele Mallin.
Mallin says she believes the Lubbock police department set her up to wrongfully select Timothy Cole as the suspect. "I think that they didn't tell me the truth about Tim. [They said] that he was a scum bag and came from a trashy family and that wasn't true," Mallin said.
They adopted a resolution which states the following:
We the people assembled together on the 18th of October 2010 at St. John's United Methodist Church in Lubbock do hereby resolve
1.) That the arrest, trial, and conviction of Timothy Cole by authorities of Lubbock, Texas was wrongful, false, and a tragic miscarriage of justice.
2.) That the city of Lubbock should submit to a binding arbitration before a fair judge held in public which should decide
A.) What the city of Lubbock and its' officers did to cause this tragedy and
B.) What the city of Lubbock should do to repair the damages to Tim Cole, Michele Mallin, and the people of Lubbock, and the state of Texas.
Copyright 2010 KCBD. All rights reserved.