Citing pretrial publicity and alleged harassment from jail guards, an Aurora man accused of attempted murder in 2015 and sparking a manhunt after a car chase last year wants his trial held outside Kane and Kendall counties.
The attorney for Billy J. Cole, 38, of the 200 block of Grayhawk Drive, argues Cole cannot receive a fair trial because of pretrial news coverage and the fact Cole is dating a former employee of Kane County.
"Comments have been made to me by several employees of the Kane County jail and Kendall County jail regarding my pending cases and my girlfriend," Cole wrote in an affidavit in court records.
Defense attorney Teresa McAdams did not return phone messages. In her motion she argues potential jurors could be influenced because Cole's name, photo, criminal record and images of the crash were in newspapers, online and on television after his arrest in March 2017.
McAdams also argues the because Cole is "involved" with a former Kane employee, he has become the subject of "conversation and gossip" among Kane and Kendall jail guards and law enforcement in general.
These factors have "created an atmosphere where it would be unlikely to find jurors who are not familiar with the defendant," the motion read.
Cole was free on bond on attempted murder charges from December 2015 that he stabbed a man in Aurora and tried to run over him with a vehicle. That sparked a chase through Aurora in late March 2017 after he refused to stop for sheriff's deputies, according to court records.
The chase ended when Cole crashed into a traffic pole. He prompted a manhunt when he left an Aurora hospital after the crash but was arrested at a relative's house in Quincy. He has felony arrests in Kane County and downstate dating back to 1995 on charges of delivery of a controlled substance, reckless discharge of a firearm, mob action, criminal damage to property, aggravated DUI and escape from electronic home monitoring, according to court records.
Cole is due in court Feb. 16, and March 22 on the change of venue motion.
If convicted of attempted murder, Cole, who was being held on $325,000 bail, faces up to 30 years in prison.