Family of man killed in Lexington shooting say 6-year sentence for suspect not enough
A man initially charged with murder in the 2017 shooting death of a Lexington father of two was sentenced Thursday to six years in prison with credit for time served after pleading guilty to a reduced charge of second-degree manslaughter.
Chanse Robertson, 37, will get credit for the more than 600 days he has already served before pleading guilty, Judge Thomas L. Travis said during the sentencing in Fayette County Circuit Court.
William “Josh” Cole, 26, died on May 22, 2017, after being shot on Anderson Street. He left behind two children, his family said. Cole’s family was in the courtroom during Thursday’s sentencing and said the amount of jail time wasn’t enough.
“My brother was worth more than six years,” said Jordan Cole, William Cole’s brother. “There’s not a time amount you can put on someone’s life, but I feel like the type of person my brother was, the things he did for this community, no one’s perfect, but his heart was pure and the things he did were pure.”
William Cole’s mother, Marita Cole, said that part of the blame for Robertson’s short sentence lies with witnesses who did not come forward to give information about what happened on the night of her son’s death.
“He should have gotten more time, but of course when people don’t come forward because they’ve seen something, they don’t say anything, they’re just as guilty as he is,” Marita Cole said. “These are people we see all the time, and they wouldn’t come forward.”
Jordan Cole thanked prosecutors who worked on his brother’s case saying they “put a lot of love” into it and that the lack of information from witnesses forced their hand, leading to the reduced charge.
“People aren’t willing to come forward and help our community,” Jordan Cole said. “We’re supposed to be pillars of our community and lift each other up. Instead, we push each other down and wish bad things on each other and do bad things to each other.”
Cole’s family also mentioned a separate case from 2003 in which Robertson was charged with first-degree manslaughter. Robertson was not convicted on that charge, which was dismissed after being presented to a grand jury.
“A killer is getting another chance after he had another chance,” Jordan Cole said. “And my brother is getting no more chances.”
Marita Cole said that her son was a great father to his two children and would do anything for anyone. His little brother, Kinzel Cole, and the mother of his two children, Shanika Slaughter, were also in the courtroom during sentencing.
“(Robertson) doesn’t accept responsibility for what he’s done,” Marita Cole said. “He showed no remorse at all, it’s embarrassing.”
Robertson was taken into custody after Thursday’s hearing to start serving his sentence.