A St. Charles Parish jury, returned a verdict Wednesday (April 24) in the 2017 slaying of Anthony “TC” Cole.
The 12-member jury voted unanimously to convict Jakorey Williams of second degree murder after just over an 1-1/2 hour deliberation.
Williams, 21, was arrested on May I, 2018 following a homicide investigation conducted by the St. Charles Parish Sheriffs Office. The verdict capped an eight-and-a-half day trial, which was prosecuted by Julie Cullen and Rochelle Champagne Fahrig.
Williams faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison with the Louisiana Department of Corrections on the conviction. That sentence is without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence. Judge M. Lauren Lemmon set sentencing on July 23, 2019 at 1 p.m.
District Attorney Joel T. Chaisson II said it was a difficult case to investigate and prosecute.
“This verdict would not have been possible without the perseverance and commitment of the men and women of the St. Charles Parish Sheriffs Office and that of my assistant district attorneys,” Chaisson said. “All of the individuals involved in the investigation and prosecution of this case worked together tirelessly to ensure that justice was done.”
Cole’s mother, Stephanie Cole Albert of Lutcher said of the conviction, “I’m glad he got what he deserved.”
Albert, who attended every day of the trial, initially wanted the death penalty for Wlliams, who she said shot her son to death execution style.
In November of 2017, Cole, 25, a St. Charles Parish native, was found shot to death on Meadows Drive in Destrehan, a roadway where numerous deaths have been reported in recent years. Cole was found face down shot three times in the back of the head.
Williams was arrested last May in connection with the murder.
“That’s my son,” she said. “I want to know what happened. Why he was murdered? Why? I feel it’s a bunch of liars up there trying to keep Jakorey out of jail.”
Cole was apparently drinking with friends the night before he was gunned down. According to Albert, among them was Williams. Williams reportedly remained at the murder scene even during the police investigation of the killing.
“Jakorey stayed there the whole time … walking around,” she said.
Although Cole had friends in the area, she doesn’t know why her son was on Meadows Drive and particularly so early on Sunday morning.
Friends say it was a senseless death.
The Destrehan High School graduate was pursuing a career in rap, according to Cole’s grandmother, Betty McKown of Metairie. He had started making some money with it and performed in New Orleans clubs like Howlin’ Wolf. He had made some recordings with Done Deal Records.
“He was trying to make a name for himself and he was a good young man,” McKown said. “He had two little girls that he’s left behind.”
Cole was outgoing and popular. She said his funeral drew a standing-room-only crowd.
“I don’t understand what happened,” McKown said. “Nobody understands what happened to him this day. We just can’t get over it. We think about him every day.”
By May of last year, Williams, a resident of 287 Meadows Drive, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and possession of a stolen firearm in the Cole shooting. He had prior offenses, including being charged with attempted second-degree murder of Javon Wells of New Sarpy in January of 2016. That charge was later dismissed.
Less than a year after he was arrested in connection with the murder of Wells, Williams was charged in the Cole shooting.
Some 18 months after her son’s murder, Albert remembered him as funny and someone who do anything for anybody.
Albert, accompanied by her two daughters, attended trial everyday in search of justice for her son.
“I’m looking at Jakorey every freaking day,” she said during the trial. “I want the death penalty, but that’s not going to happen in Louisiana. I’ll settle with life.”