Judge denies bond in 44-year-old rape, murder cold case in S.C.
FAIRFIELD COUNTY, S.C. (WBTV) - A family feels they could finally get to see justice 44 years later. Charles Coleman is accused of raping and murdering Ann Wilson in 1976. He was denied bond when the judge called him a danger to the community.
The family was emotional as they told the judge about the 44 years they have lived in fear. Coleman stood before the judge in a Fairfield County courtroom as prosecutors argued why he should not get bail.
The prosecutor outlined what he called a rap sheet that showed Coleman’s danger to society. Coleman has been arrested several times from 1976 up until 2020. The arrests included drinking and driving, firing shots at people and women accusing him of sexual assault.
Agents from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) arrested and charged 65-year-old Coleman with Wilson’s rape and murder back in October.
On March 20, 1976, Wilson went missing during her shift while working as a spinner at the Eureka Plant of Spring Mills in Chester. Her body and a stolen vehicle was found in Fairfield County near the intersection of Ashford Ferry Road and Dave Jenkins Road in Blair.
The prosecutor also went over the crime scene calling it gruesome. He says Wilson had been brutally beaten and strangled after she was raped.
According to prosecutors, a DNA sample was found in Wilson’s missing clothes. In 1976, DNA tracing and profiling was not used. The prosecutor went on to say that a DNA sample taken when Coleman had been arrested earlier in the year was a match.
When it was time for them to speak, Wilson’s family talked about what it has been like living without her for 44 years. Her daughter Linda Mobley was one of the speakers.
”I done worried for all these years wishing I could hold my mother,” says Mobley. “But she’s never coming back.”
Coleman’s lawyer argued he deserved to be within the community. He says the case was not going anywhere and neither was Coleman. The defense attorney also argued the prosecutor’s case would take months to come together. He says Coleman’s probation status meant he would be continually monitored.
Judge Brian Gibbons, of Chester, did not grant Coleman bail. He will stay in jail until his trial.
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