A man who murdered a Cullman resident in 2013 has accepted 30 years in prison as part of a plea agreement reached in Cullman County Circuit Court.

John Edward Cole, 36, of Fairview pleaded guilty to a single count of felony murder 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 assailant 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 of this year 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.

Prosecuters originally charged Cole with capital murder, but later agreed to pursue the felony murder charge, which carries no death penalty. Cole pleaded guilty to the murder charge in the court of Circuit Judge Martha Williams.

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