A man accused of the December 2013 murder of an elderly man on St. Joseph Drive has pleaded guilty in Cullman County Circuit Court.
Robert Gene Espy, Jr. was initially indicted on charges of murder, burglary first degree (two counts), burglary third degree, receiving stolen property, hindering prosecution first degree and theft of property first degree in April 2014.
Espy, 39, of Vinemont, entered the guilty plea last week.
John Edward Cole, 36, of Fairview, pleaded guilty to a single count of felony murder in November 2018 in connection with the death of Frederick William Galin, who was 71 at the time of his death.
Galin was beaten to death with a pipe wrench at his St. Joseph Drive home in December of 2013, during the commission of a burglary in which the assailants stole rifles, a shotgun, and a car. Investigators found the pipe wrench at the bottom of Lake George in Cullman in June of 2014.
Cole, who was free on bond at the time, was also arrested in May 2018 on a series of drug and theft-related charges, including distribution of a controlled substance, unlawful possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance, 1st degree unlawful possession of marijuana, 3rd degree receiving stolen property, and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. Cole also will serve concurrent prison time on federal charges for possessing firearms as a felon.
Espy's plea was entered last week.
Cole was initially charged with capital murder in the case.