Loran Cole was sentenced to death by the State of Florida for the kidnapping, sexual assault and murder of a college student. According to court documents Loran Cole and William Paul would attack a brother and sister who were camping. John Edwards would be tied to a tree and had his throat slit. The sister was brought to another location where she was sexually assaulted. The sister would be able to free herself and would notify police. Loran Cole would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
Loran Cole 2021 Information
|Name:||COLE, LORAN K|
|Initial Receipt Date:||02/24/1992|
|Current Facility:||UNION C.I.|
|Current Release Date:||DEATH SENTENCE|
Loran Cole More News
A Marion County death row inmate struck out on his third successive motion to vacate his death sentence when the state’s highest court on Tuesday upheld a lower court’s denial.
Loran Kenstley Cole, 51, convicted of murdering an 18-year-old college student and sexually assaulting the victim’s sister in 1994 in the Ocala National Forest, will begin his 24th year on death row in February. He is also convicted of two counts each of kidnapping, robbery with a deadly weapon and sexual battery.
Cole is trying to find post-conviction relief under Florida’s relatively new law requiring sentences of death to be an unanimous jury decision. The new rule, as decided through other opinions from the Florida Supreme Court, does not apply to sentences that were final before June 24, 2002.
He filed his most recent appeal for relief with the Florida Supreme Court on April 17, 2017, after 5th Circuit Judge Willard Pope denied it.
The Florida Supreme Court decided Cole was “not entitled to relief,” according to Tuesday’s opinion. His sentence was finalized in 1998.
Cole’s lawyer did not respond to a request for comment.
On Feb. 18, 1994, Cole, then 27, and William Paul, then 20, befriended siblings Pam and John Edwards, who planned to spend the weekend camping in the forest. Cole briefly met them when the Edwardses were setting up their camp, introduced himself as “Kevin,” and helped them set up the rest of their site. After the Edwardses finished dinner, Cole and Paul returned to the siblings’ campsite and all four decided to walk to a nearby pond about 10:45 p.m.
They never found the pond.
Cole jumped Pam Edwards, handcuffed her and threw her to the ground. John Edwards attacked Paul in retaliation but Cole helped Paul subdue the brother and throw him onto the ground next to his sister. Paul took Pam Edwards up the path while Cole stayed back with John Edwards, who died that night from a slashed throat and three blows to the head that caused his skull to fracture.
Cole, Paul and Pam Edwards returned to the siblings’ campsite, where Cole threatened to kill Pam Edwards if she did not have sexual intercourse with him. The next day, he again forced himself on her, gagged her and tied her to a tree. Cole and Paul took off in one of the siblings’ cars.
Pam Edwards was eventually able to free herself and look for her brother. After she couldn’t find him, she flagged down a motorist who took her to call 911.
John Edwards’ body was found later that day by law enforcement officers.
This denial marks the 10th time Cole has tried and failed to overturn his conviction — either filing motions to vacate his sentence or claiming writs of habeas corpus (unlawful detention). He tried to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2007, but his petition was denied.
Cole is one of four Marion County defendants on death row. Three others have been granted resentencings under Florida’s new law.