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Petition Started To Keep Man Convicted Of Killing Westchester Baseball Prospect Behind Bars

Mount Vernon resident Garth O'Neil Cole was the last of four suspects to plead guilty for their role in the shooting death of Yonkers pro baseball prospect Michael Nolan. Photo Credit: Westchester County District Attorney's Office
Yonkers resident and former Oakland Athletics prospect Michael Nolan. Photo Credit: MiLB
Yonkers resident and former Oakland Athletics prospect Michael Nolan. Photo Credit: File

A petition has been started in an effort to keep a man convicted in the of killing Michael Nolan, the former Yonkers resident and Oakland Athletics baseball prospect, behind bars.

Shortly after 12:30 a.m . on Sept. 18, 2015, Nolan was standing outside of his Mercedes in the parking lot at Burger King on Central Park Avenue, when six shots rang out of the Toyota Camry being driven by four men implicated in the shooting, with one of the bullets striking Nolan in the head.

Nolan was rushed to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, and put into a medical coma before being declared dead on Oct. 9. Four men have since pleaded guilty to their roles in the fatal shooting.

One of the men involved, Garth Cole, was sentenced to five years in prison after cooperating with police, though he will be eligible for early release in December. His original release date is in February 2021.

Cole was reportedly the driver of the car involved in the fatal shooting.

In response to his potential release, a change.org petition was launched, urging state officials to ensure that Cole remains behind bars for the entirety of his sentence.

As of Friday, Sept. 20, the petition had more than 2,500 signatures.

“Michael has unfortunately received a lifetime sentence and will never be able to get released from it so Garth Cole should not be let out any sooner than he is supposed to,” the petition states. “I ask you to please sign and share with family and friends this petition in support of Garth Cole NOT getting out one-second sooner than the original date that he was sentenced.

“He didn’t pull the trigger but he is just as much of a murder like the other three that were in the car, they all played a part in taking Michael away from us. I am also asking for people to write letters supporting that he should not be allowed out early and should serve every second that he should in prison.”

The shooting launched a joint investigation between the Yonkers Police Department and Westchester County District Attorney’s office that determined the shooting was “in retaliation for the beating of an individual known to the suspects and related to events that took place during a drag race two nights prior.”

Following his death, Nolan’s family started the Michael Nolan Scholarship Fund, which supplies eight scholarships each year to students who achieve success in the classroom and benefit their community.

Nolan’s organs were donated after his death, saving six peoples’ lives so far, his brother James, who helped start the scholarship fund, said. He led the charge in the passing of a law that bans drag racing countywide, dubbed the Michael Nolan Law.

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