Cold Case Task Force cracks home invasion case

July 2

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow and Joliet Police Chief Fred Hayes announce that an investigation by their combined Cold Case Task Force has resulted in the filing of a criminal charge in a violent home invasion from 2005.

Terrance Cole, 36, who is currently serving time at Dixon Correctional Center for a conviction in an unrelated case, was charged Thursday (June 28, 2007) with one count of Home Invasion. The charge is a Class X felony that carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison upon conviction.

The Cold Case Task Force completed its investigation and the state’s attorney’s office filed the charge within days of Cole’s scheduled release from Dixon, where he has been serving time for a battery to a police officer and possession of controlled substance. Joliet detectives drove to Dixon on Monday (July 2, 2007) and arrested Cole on the new charge.

Cole is accused of entering the West Side home of an elderly Joliet couple and beating them on June 12, 2005. He is alleged to have crept into the house unnoticed while the owner was sleeping, entering through the open overhead door of the attached garage.

The Cold Case Task Force linked Cole to the home invasion through DNA samples taken from a beer can that was found inside the house. The sample was matched to Cole when it was entered into the Combined DNA Index System. Cole gave a DNA sample when he entered the prison system.

“The goal of the task force is to use modern technology to break open criminal cases that have gone unsolved for years,” Glasgow said. “The task force is investigating unsolved murders, some of which dated back decades when the technology to analyze DNA evidence did not exist. But both of our agencies are also ready to act quickly when a cold case investigation turns up evidence that enables us to file charges in more recent violent crimes.”

Chief Hayes said: “In our service to the community, as critical it is for our department to successfully investigate these most violent of crimes and arrest the offenders, it is equally important to provide the victims’ family and friends the peace that closure may be able to bring them when these criminals are brought to justice.”

The Cold Case Task Force was established in 2005 through a $455,000 federal grant from the National Institute of Justice.

The grant provides funding for DNA testing and for the Joliet Police Department to pay investigators and evidence technicians overtime to review unsolved cases. The grant also provides funding for the state’s attorney’s office to assign a prosecutor to the task force.

Earlier this year, the task force solved the 1994 murder of Linda Dooley, who was found shot to death in her car outside a hotel parking lot in Joliet.  This murder happened in broad daylight shortly after she had left a local department store.  DNA evidence collected at the scene linked a drifter, Percy E. Cooksey III, to the crime.

When the case was solved, Cooksey already had died in a Missouri prison while serving time for an unrelated crime. The resolution of this case, however, was critical because it brought closure to Linda Dooley’s family and assurances to the community that a violent killer no longer was at large.

Joliet Detectives Carlos Matlock, Phil Valera and Dave Jackson investigated the home invasion case. Assistant State’s Attorney Scott Delaney reviewed the evidence and filed the charge.

The warrant for Cole’s arrest carries a $300,000 bond. Cole must post 10 percent, or $30,000, to secure his release while he is awaiting trial.

The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office reminds the public that charges are not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.