[Jerry] Johnson didn't know Cole except from coverage of the rape trial, Johnson said. He was in prison for a different rape case at the time, in a segregated cell. The day Cole was sentenced to 25 years, Cole was briefly placed in a cell across from his before being transferred, he said.
"I didn't say nothing to him," Johnson said. "It was about four or five people in that cell, and he was crying about they were wrong for convicting him."
Johnson was convicted and sentenced on two rape charges - receiving life for the rape of a 15-year-old high school honors student, a crime he denies he did, and 99 years for the rape of a 23-year-old woman, for which he said he is guilty.
As the statute of limitations on the parking lot rape expired in 1995 and when he decided that admitting to the case could not damage his pleas that he was innocent of one of his rapes, he said he tried to locate Cole and wrote to attorneys to confess that he had committed the rape.
"My initial goal was to free this man, because I knew this man was innocent," Johnson said.
He received no response and let it sit for five years, he said.
Johnson wrote Cole's family in late May, asking Cole to contact him so they could clear his name, have him removed from sex offender lists and from being a parolee. Cole's family has long believed he was innocent and said he protested the conviction until his death in prison in 1999.
Monday, June 11, 2007
Another possible wrongful conviction with tragic results
Timothy Cole was convicted of rape in Lubbock in 1986 and died in prison in 1999. Hearing recently of his death, a man who says he's the real rapist came forward (he's currently doing 99 years in TDCJ already) and is requesting DNA testing to clear the dead man's name. The Innocence Project at Texas Tech's law school is assisting the dead man's family in the case. Reports the Lubbock Avalanche Journal ("Convict says he did 1986 rape for which other man spent life in prison," June 10):