HOME INVADER SENTENCED TO 45 YEARS
August 18, 2016 (Dalton) – Joshua David Cole, 27, formerly of 1700 Westside Circle, Rocky Face, pled guilty today to charges of robbery, burglary, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and exploitation and intimidation of an elder person. Pursuant to a negotiated recommendation, Superior Court Judge William T. Boyett sentenced Cole to serve 20 years in confinement, followed by 25 years on probation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Bryan Rayburn. Cole was represented by Michael R. McCarthy of the Public Defender’s Office.
On December 16, 2015, Cole entered an occupied home in Tunnel Hill in the early morning hours and duct-taped Bill Gillilan, 86, to a chair, and ransacked the entire home over the course of several hours. During the course of events, Cole found firearms and threatened to kill the victim if he did not cooperate. In addition to stealing multiple firearms, Cole also stole the victim’s vehicle, and a debit and credit card. After Cole left the residence, Mr. Gillilan was able to get free from the tape and go to a neighbor’s residence to call 911. He was not injured during his ordeal.
Detectives Blake Smith, Chris Guay, and Jeff Wells of the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office were able to obtain ATM photos from Wells Fargo Bank that placed Cole using the stolen debit card to obtain cash after he had left the victim’s residence. Additional video footage from a Kangaroo gas station placed Cole using the stolen debit card to purchase cigarettes on that same morning.
With the assistance of Special Agent Herman Taylor of the GBI, detectives were able to track Cole through his cell phone to a residence in Rossville, Georgia. On December 18, 2015, law enforcement from Whitfield County as well as Catoosa County and Walker County, went to the residence in Rossville. After a short foot chase, Cole was apprehended and taken into custody.
Several of the items taken during the robbery were recovered at the Rossville home, including the victim’s vehicle, and two of the firearms. Detectives Jacob Burger, and Scott Murray of the Dalton Police Department conducted a recorded interview with Cole on separate charges, where he admitted to this burglary and robbery.
Special thanks go out to the law enforcement officers with the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office, Dalton Police Department, and GBI, who worked tirelessly for 48 hours to apprehend this defendant. Additional thanks go out to the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office, as well as, the Walker County Sheriff’s Office, for their assistance in the arrest.
Conasauga Judicial Circuit