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184 Detention Drive
P.O. Box 451
Clinton, Arkansas 72031
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Investigation into the death of Robert Cole

From the Desk of Sheriff Scott Bradley

The Investigation into the death of Robert Cole with regard to the incident between Mr. Cole and his neighbor was turned over to the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department by Clinton Police on May 9, 2012.  In the hours after the incident, statements and evidence were gathered by Investigators with the Sheriff’s Department.  The alleged suspect, Mr. Robert Delay cooperated fully with all Law Enforcement at that time and throughout the investigation.

  As many know, Mr. Cole passed away at approximately 7:30a.m.the morning of May 10, 2012 at UAMS Hospital in Little Rock.  An autopsy was requested by Investigators to determine the cause and origin of Mr. Cole’s death.

  A preliminary cause of death was determined on Friday, May 12, 2012.  The State Crime Lab determined that Mr. Cole’s death was not caused by injuries sustained during the altercation between him and his neighbor during the incident on May 9, 2012.  Preliminarily findings indicate that Mr. Cole developed a hemorrhage in his brain (a type of stroke) which is typically due to cardiovascular disease.  According to the Arkansas State Medical Examiner’s Office, direct injury to the head does not cause this particular pattern of hemorrhage. Due to the sensitivity of this case and the outcome of the incident, a thorough and complete investigation must be performed to determine all the facts in this case.   The complete autopsy findings including microscopic analysis, toxicology, medical records review and investigative findings are expected to take a minimum of six weeks.  This case along with the preliminary findings will be submitted to the Van Buren County Prosecuting Attorneys office for review.  The possibility for any criminal charges will be determined by the Prosecutor once the case has been thoroughly reviewed.  Van Buren County Sheriff Scott Bradley welcomes any questions or concerns from the citizens of Van Buren County concerning this case.  Sheriff Bradley would also like to thank everyone for their patience concerning this investigation.