Murder trial begins, unveils new details in timeline of death of Park Layne woman in 2021

CLARK COUNTY — The murder trial for a Clark County man accused of killing his estranged girlfriend in her Park Layne home started on Monday.

Noel Coles Jr., 49 is facing five charges, including murder and aggravated murder, for the death of Jacqueline Coles, 43, who was found dead in her home on Weinland Street in August 2021.

News Center 7′s John Bedell was in court for the start of Noel’s trial where new details on the timeline of events were unveiled.

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For the first time in court, Noel’s defense lawyer said he was near his estranged girlfriend’s house the morning she died, but he added, it was not because he was there to kill her.

Less than three weeks before her murder, Jacqueline filed a restraining order against Noel.

Jacqueline wrote in the court document Noel had “threatened to kill me” multiple times and “I am in fear of my life.”

“20 days later. The defendant followed through on his threat,” said Erica Lunderman, Clark County Assistant Prosecutor. “The defendant broke into her home at 141 Weinland Drive and murdered her. Shooting her six times.”

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During opening statements, the defense said Noel was parked near the home, but only to be able to see his kids get on the bus that morning.

Regarding the death threat, the defense says Noel was agitated after finding out about a relationship Jacqueline had with a co-worker.

“He was upset. He was hurt. And he said some things out of anger,” said Matt Barbato, Noel’s defense lawyer.

Prosecutors say Noel fled Ohio after the murder. He was later arrested in Indiana, but the defense said he was not running from deputies.

He claims Noel had started a road trip to help a friend who breeds dogs make the drive from Urbana to California to drop off a dog to its buyer.

The defense says all prosecutors have is circumstantial evidence— no murder weapon, no witnesses.

Prosecutors told the jurors that they’re confident they’ll return a verdict of guilty.

The trial is expected to take most of this week at the Clark County courthouse.

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