Crime & Courts

Plea agreement reached in 2011 murder case

Former basketball standout Korleone Young will not have to testify at the retrial of a man charged with first-degree murder thanks to a plea-agreement that was reached last week between prosecutors and the defense.

Terrell Cole, 32, who was scheduled to stand trial July 29 in the shooting death of Andre Lovett, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of involuntary manslaughter. He will face a prison term of 31 to 136 months when he is sentenced Aug. 1

Wichita police said Cole and Lovett were trying to rob the occupants of a house at 1822 N. Minneapolis on Jan. 19, 2011, when Cole fired a shot at one of the victims as he ran from the scene. The bullet struck Lovett in the abdomen, and he died the next day.

During the 2 1/2 week trial, prosecutors said a van that Cole was driving on the day of the robbery was seen dropping Lovett off at Wesley Medical Center. Although several of the robbery victims testified, none were able to identify Cole in court.

Young, who was in the house at the time of the robbery, was one of the key witnesses. Prosecutors contended that Young identified Cole as the shooter during a police interview by picking up a page containing six mug shots and folding it in such a manner that only Cole’s face was showing. Young was unable to identify Cole in court, however, and he told the jury that his handling of the mug shots was not meant as an identification of Cole.

After deliberating over parts of three days, the jury split 9-3 in favor of acquitting Cole on charges of murder, attempted robbery, aggravated intimidation of a witness and criminal discharge of a firearm at an occupied dwelling. Prosecutors contended that several days after the shooting, Cole fired several shots into a house in the 2600 block of North Madison where Young was staying.

The jury convicted Cole of a less-serious charge of tampering with electronic monitoring equipment for removing an ankle bracelet that he was supposed to be wearing because of traffic charges.