- Cullman, Alabama

January 17, 2014

UPDATED: Divers look for evidence in connection to Cullman man’s murder in Lake George

By Lauren Estes
The Cullman Times

LAKE GEORGE — Two men were arrested Thursday in connection to the December murder of an elderly Cullman man, while Cullman County Diving Team members searched for physical evidence linked to the murder case that has allegedly been tossed in Lake George.

Divers searched a remote area of the small lake’s murky water in the Vinemont area on Thursday and Friday mornings. Officials received information that vital physical evidence—in connection to the murder of Frederick William Galin, 71, of Cullman—could be in Lake George surrounding County Road 1332. Cullman County Sheriff  Mike Rainey said the cause of Galin’s death was blunt force trauma to the upper extremities.

“We have two individuals arrested in connection to the case, but no formal murder charges have been filed,” Rainey said. “Mr. Galin was not shot or stabbed, and the investigation is still ongoing. We hope to have more information out about the case next week.”

Two Cullman men have been arrested for theft and burglary in connection to Galin’s murder case, though no one has been charged with murder at this point.

John Edward Cole, 31, has been charged with theft of property in the first degree in connection to the theft of a 1966 Chevrolet Super Sport stolen from the victim's residence. He is also facing a charge of receiving stolen property. Investigators believe the vehicle was stolen on December 16, the same date of Galin's death.

Robert Espy, Jr., 34, has been charged with two counts of third-degree burglary that have been linked to the murder investigation.

Both men are being held on $200,000 cash bonds, and authorities say additional charges related to the case could be forthcoming.

Three Cullman County divers: Corey Freeman, Kevin Folds, Major Scott Clay, and many other law enforcement officials, spent several hours in 38 degree water and high wind gusts Friday morning searching the perimeter based on information they received. The Cullman Police Department patrol boat was also used during the search.

Lauren Estes can be reached at or 256-734-2131, ext. 137.