Stanley Cole Is Serving 40 Years in Prison for Latasha Norman's Murder

"43 percent of women in college experienced abusive behaviors from their significant other." Unfortunately, many women ignore glaring red flags.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author
By

Feb. 21 2024, Published 1:29 p.m. ET

The Clarion Ledger reported that according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, "43 percent of women in college experienced abusive behaviors from their significant other." Unfortunately, many women ignore glaring red flags said Psych Central. The reasons can feel frustrating to people on the outside of a toxic relationship. Not only do many women not trust their own experiences, but abuse can escalate over time.

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Unfortunately for Latasha Norman, the red flags were waving wildly in her relationship but she wasn't able to acknowledge them in time. In 2007, she was brutally killed by her ex-boyfriend who had physically assaulted Normal weeks before her death. Where is Stanley Cole now? Here's what we know.

Where is Stanley Cole now? He is serving time in a Mississippi prison.

Stanley Cole is currently housed at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility and has been incarcerated since April 2014. His tentative release date is scheduled for May 19, 2038. Cole was initially convicted of first degree murder in February 2010, per the Jackson Free Press. His attorney, Hinds County Assistant Public Defender Matt Eichelberger, "had filed a motion to allow jurors to consider a lesser charge of manslaughter, but Judge Swan Yerger denied that motion." This would come back in the appeal.

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More than two years later in February 2012, Cole was granted a new trial. "The Mississippi Court of Appeals ... said a Hinds County judge erred in failing to tell jurors in Stanley Cole's trial that they could consider manslaughter as an alternative to murder." The appeals court went on to say that "defendants are entitled to jury instructions that present their side of the case and juries are to determine the weight and credibility of evidence."

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In response to Cole's new trial, Norman's father told WAPT, "It's his right to appeal, but God granted us this victory two years ago, and we have faith and we believe He won't reverse it." The new trial was set for March 2014 but in February of that year, Cole pleaded guilty to manslaughter, via WAPT. "I never meant to hurt anyone and I know what I did was wrong," Cole said to Norman's parents in court. "I hope you can find it in your heart to one day forgive me."

What happened to Latasha Norman?

In 2007, Norman was a 20-year-old student at Jackson State University where she was studying accounting. When she wasn't buried in books, Norman was writing for the Blue and White Flash, Jackson State's student newspaper, and was a devout Christian, said the Clarion Ledger. She was also in an on-again-off-again relationship with Cole that was fraught at best.

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On Nov. 29, 2007, Norman's body was discovered north of Jackson in a wooded area. It was badly decomposed. She was last seen November 13 in a restaurant parking lot where she was reportedly hit by Cole. At the time, he said it was an accident and maintains that to this day. "Stanley Cole delivered one punch to Latasha Norman's head and he says she was unconscious. He didn't know if she was dead at that point or not. It was a one-punch homicide," said his attorney in Cole's appeal.

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After his retrial, Norman's parents read victim impact statements in court. "She was a kind-hearted person. She did not deserve all of that, what you did," they said. "She had so much she wanted out of life and you just took it, just like that." If there's a silver lining of this story, it's that after Norman's death, Jackson State created the "Latasha Norman Center for Counseling Services to honor her and help students with problems such as abusive relationships.

"Many students are not aware that they are or have experienced domestic violence," said a counselor at The Latasha Norman Center. Norman's stepfather, Danny Bolden, shares his stepdaughter's story at colleges and other universities in the hopes of helping students see the warning signs of an abusive relationship. Speaking with the Clarion Ledger, Bolden pointed out, "Who is better to talk about it other than the person who’s been through it?"

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

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