$250,000 bond set for man accused of killing Jackson State student

Published 5:22 pm Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A judge has set a $250,000 bond for the man accused of killing Jackson State University student Latasha Norman before dumping her body in the woods off a street in north Jackson.

Hinds County Court Judge William Barnett set the bond for 24-year-old Stanley Cole on Monday during his preliminary hearing. Cole was reportedly the slain student’s former boyfriend.

Norman was a 20-year-old accounting major who worked at the school paper and was described as a serious student. She disappeared after a class on Nov. 13, prompting pleas by her family for a safe return and an outpouring of support from the community.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

New Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith, who was on his first day on the job, argued for no bond for Cole.

“Bond is not appropriate in this case,” Smith said. “He drove around with Latasha’s body in the trunk and said nothing.”

Assistant Public Defender Matthew Eichelberger said his client wasn’t a flight risk.

Cole was charged with murder Nov. 29 after DNA evidence linked him to the crime, police said. Police allegedly found blood and other DNA evidence that matched Norman in the trunk of Cole’s Dodge Neon.

Cole then allegedly directed police to Norman’s badly decomposing body in the woods off a quiet Jackson street, authorities said.

Latasha’s uncle, Matthew Norman, said the family did not want to criticize the judge’s decision to grant bond.

“We still believe justice will prevail,” Matthew Norman said outside the Jackson courtroom.

Norman, who like Cole was from Greenville in the Mississippi Delta, had been the target of attacks in the weeks before she disappeared Nov. 13, authorities said.