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franklin county times

Courthouse cameras catch suspect in the act

A Haleyville man who allegedly tried to run over his arresting officer, pled guilty on May 25 to avoid a likely harsher punishment, officials said.

Franklin County Courthouse officials said 43 year-old Bobby Ray Cole, of 2672 Alabama 243, Haleyville, pled guilty to first-degree assault with a request for probation after Franklin County Courthouse security cameras caught him on July 21, 2009, trying to run over and injure an officer who had arrested him in the past.

Officials said Cole was in district court facing resisting arrest charges from a past arrest the same day the incident occurred.

Officials with the Franklin County District Attorney’s office said witnesses claimed Cole left the courthouse furious.

Security camera video evidence showed Cole walking out and stopping behind his arresting officer’s patrol unit where he presumably wrote down the license plate number.

Officials said a short time later the arresting officer came out of the courthouse, got into his patrol car and began to drive east down Limestone Street.

Authorities said Cole came racing out of the parking lot, driving a white Cavalier  heading east on Limestone Street and attempted to purposely strike and wreck the officer.

Cole was later pulled over on Jackson Avenue, arrested and charged with resisting arrest and driving under the influence.

Officials said because of Cole’s two prior felonies, the minimum sentence he could serve would be 15 years in prison.

Cole’s probation hearing is set for August 4.

Franklin County District Attorney Joey Rushing said there have been several cases where video footage from retail stores, pharmacies and banks have been used as evidence, but this is the first time the courthouse security cameras have caught criminal activity since he has taken office.

“It’s good to know security measures implemented at the courthouse allowed a quick resolution to a case that may not have been solved otherwise,” he said. “We believe the settlement based on his prior record and what he intended on doing to the officer was fair.”

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