JB Cole sentenced to life in prison

Monday, June 17th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

A murderer sentenced to prison for the rest of his life. A Tulsa County District Court judge told JB Cole he would never be paroled after killing an elderly Tulsa man, just before Christmas.

News on Six crime reporter Lori Fullbright was in the courtroom Monday and says Donald Green's children had their first father's day without him Sunday. Their suffering gets no easier, especially when they feel ripped off by the way the justice system handles juveniles.

Donald Green thought JB Cole was like any other renter, but he turned out to be something much more, something much worse. Cole decided to steal Green's car, so he beat the elderly man and threw him in the trunk. Then, Cole and his 15-year-old stepson and two young women, drove to Kentucky, having to turn up the car radio to drown out the cries for help, coming from the trunk. Cole and stepson Mitchell Roberts Mitchell threw Cole's body into a Kentucky river before the law caught up with them.

Cole will now grow old in prison. Jerri Zellers, Green's daughter: "I think he got what we could give him besides death and death is too good for him." JB Cole became a criminal at a young age and developed a hefty resume of crime. Starting in 1980 with assault and running from police, continuing that trend in 1981 by adding disturbing the peace and burglary. In 1982, he had entering with intent to steal and another burglary charge. In 1983, burglary and escape followed by unauthorized use of car in 1985. In 1987, concealing stolen property, burglary, unauthorized use and escape. In 1999, interfering with a public utility and theft, until finally in 2001, he had theft, escape and first-degree murder.

His 15-year-old stepson started with a murder conviction, but, was not sentenced as an adult, which means he could get out in between one and five years. Donald Green, Jr, victim's son: "I just hope they can change the law. It's ridiculous. First degree murder shouldn't even be considered a juvenile crime."

As for the two young women, Cole's stepdaughter, Brandi Roberts and his girlfriend, Kim Gilbert, they were charged with car theft, not with accessory to murder. Gilbert is still on the lam. A $100,000 warrant hanging over her head. Terry Sasseen, victim's daughter: "This is not right. They had plenty of times to make a phone call. She's sitting there looking at her daddy. I don't get to see my daddy."

Brandy Roberts will be sentenced this Thursday. Of course, Green's family hopes she will get some jail time. Prosecutors say they met with Green's family several times to discuss these charges and feel like they made the best decisions based on all the evidence they had to work with.