Father’s Bond Modified in Case of Fatal Child Neglect

Ohio County Circuit Judge James Mazzone on Tuesday modified the pretrial bond of Edward Cole Jr., the father whose neglect allegedly led to the fatal overdose of his 3-year-old daughter last year.

An Ohio County grand jury last month indicted Cole, 39, and his wife, Cindy Cole, 28, on single counts of child neglect resulting in death. Both suspects turned themselves in during docket day proceedings on May 23.

Cindy Cole posted $50,000 bond that day and was released from the Northern Regional Jail, while her husband has remained incarcerated on an identical bond amount.

Edward Cole’s attorney, Mark Panepinto, said online threats have been directed at his client and, due to Cole’s physical condition, he is at great risk of injury while housed at the jail.

According to Panepinto, a cancer diagnosis forced doctors to remove a portion of the left side of Cole’s skull, as well as his left eye. Cole no longer has a plate protecting that portion of his brain, either, Panepinto noted.

“I think Mr. Cole is at extreme risk in the Northern Regional Jail,” Panepinto said, “especially given the fact that he has basically a brain exposure which is highly susceptible to injury. Should he be punched, kicked – anything along those lines might cause him substantial injury.”

Mazzone modified Edward Cole’s bond to $10,000 bondsman and $40,000 personal recognizance.

The judge also ordered Cole be placed on supervised release while residing at his mother’s home in North Wheeling. Cole may not contact any children or potential witnesses in the case, including his wife.

Ohio County Assistant Prosecutor Jenna Perkins did not object to the bond modification with the requirements Mazzone introduced, but she disagreed with Panepinto’s assessment of potential danger to Cole.

“The state’s confident that any threats would be adequately dealt with at the facility where he is currently housed,” Perkins said.

Although Cole and his wife relinquished their parental rights to their other children following their daughter’s death, there has been an ongoing civil case in front of Ohio County Circuit Judge David Sims.

Panepinto is expected to be granted access to those case files.

Patience Cole died on March 4, 2012, after ingesting her father’s prescription pills at her family’s home on Wheeling Island, according to prosecutors.