A family is hoping an Austin judge will overturn the 1985 rape conviction of Tim Cole. Cole died in prison in 1999 only to have DNA testing show last year that he did not commit the rape. Cole and his family always maintained his innocence.
In the March of 1985 at the St. John's United Methodist Church on University parking lot was where then Texas Tech student Michele Mallin was parking her car, before she was kidnapped and raped east of town.
Cole was convicted of this rape and sent to prison. Tim Cole's family says they have always stood behind him.
"It's been, it's been a long road and we never gave up," said Cole's brother, Reginald Kennard.
Cole served 13 of his 25-year sentence, before dying of asthma complications in prison. Last year DNA proved Cole was not the rapist of the Texas Tech student in 1985.
"My son's name I will reclaim, that's what he wants. That's what the family wants," said Cole's mother Ruby Session.
The family visited the Texas House and Senate on Wednesday and both chambers passed resolutions as a tribute to Cole.
"I don't know that I can elaborate on it much more without breaking up. It is a sad story," said Lubbock State Senator Robert Duncan. Duncan gained unanimous approval to honor Cole.
"I was moved by the fact that they seemed to feel our pain by what we went through some of them were brought to tears," said Kennard. His family says Cole always maintained his innocence by refusing to take a plea deal for a lighter sentence or confessing to receive parole.
"His greatest desire was to be exonerated and completely vindicated," said Session.
The Innocence Project of Texas tells us if Cole's case is overturned, he would be the first deceased convict to be DNA exonerated by a Texas Court.
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