A Caddo Parish jury found a Farmerville man guilty of a crime spree in 2020 that started in a local hospital and ended in Meridian, Mississippi.
Taniel Cole, 42, was found guilty responsively of attempted manslaughter, guilty as charged on four counts of second-degree kidnapping and guilty as charged of armed robbery with the use if a firearm.
The eight-woman, four-man jury in District Judge Chris Victory’s court determined that on August 12, 2020, Cole and his girlfriend argued at a local hospital where the girlfriend’s daughter was a patient. The argument was over the daughter wishing to see her biological father. When Cole left, the girlfriend asked hospital staff to not let the boyfriend visit her daughter. When Cole returned several hours later he became enraged when he was not allowed to see the girl. He pulled out a gun and pointed it at three nurses speaking to him, forcing them to take him to the girl’s room and ordering them to the ground while he continued to argue with his girlfriend. A person in a nearby room heard the argument and informed the house supervisor, who went to the room. Cole pointed a gun at the supervisor, who ran to alert security. Cole fired two shots at her, and also shot the person in the nearby room in the leg when he attempted to intervene. Cole then fled the hospital.
Cole accosted a woman in a nearby parking lot and forced her to drive him to Farmerville, where he took money and other personal property from her, threatening her safety if she told anyone what he had done. He then went to a car lot in Monroe and stole a test-drive vehicle, which he was driving when he was apprehended in Meridian five days later.
Cole’s next court appearance is scheduled for May 2, 2022. At sentencing he faces up to 20 years in prison for the attempted manslaughter conviction, and at least five and up to 40 years for each second-degree kidnapping conviction. He also faces imprisonment at hard labor for not less than ten years and for up to 99 years without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence, with additional imprisonment at hard labor for five years without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence for the use of a firearm during the commission of the armed robbery.
Cole was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Kodie K. Smith and Brittany Arvie. He was defended by Michael Enright and Dave Knadler.