Case Facts: Andre Cole and his wife, Terri Cole (Terri), divorced in 1995 after eleven years of marriage. Cole was ordered to pay child support for the care of the couple’s two children but his periodic failure to make payments resulted in an arrearage totaling nearly $3000.00. Upon learning that a payroll withholding order was issued to his employer, Cole commented to his coworkers, “Before I give her another dime I’ll kill the bitch.”
The first payroll deduction for child support appeared on Cole’s August 21, 1998 paycheck, and several hours later Cole forced his entry into Terri’s house by throwing an automobile jack through the glass door leading to the dining room. Anthony Curtis (Curtis), who was visiting Terri, confronted Cole and asked him to leave. Cole stabbed Curtis multiple times resulting in his death. Cole then assaulted Terri, stabbing her repeatedly in the stomach, breasts, back, and arms, and her hands when she attempted to defend herself. Terri survived.
After the attack, Cole fled the state, but he returned to St. Louis and surrendered to the police thirty-three days later. DNA analysis confirmed the presence of both victims’ blood on the knife and the presence of Cole’s blood on the deck of Terri’s home, the backyard fence, and in the street where Cole’s car had been parked.