Timothy Cole has been recognized by the President, the state and now his story will be etched into history with a permanent monument in Lubbock. But that monument has grown, in step with Cole's significance to the Innocence Project.
Cole was a Texas Tech student when he was falsely convicted for raping a fellow student. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison and died there in 1999 from an illness. Ten years later the conviction was overturned by an Austin judge when the person who actually committed the crime confessed.
Initial plans called for a plain granite monument in Cole's memory. But sculptor Eddie Dixon soon had a change of heart, saying he felt the duty to really tell Cole's story. He's building a nine-foot statue.
"Did you see his photograph about five years later," Dixon asked. "He looked as though he had gone crazy. He looked totally insane. Five years in prison for something you didn't do. His attorney said he could've taken a plea, but he refused because he wasn't guilty. I wouldn't have, either."
The statue will be placed at the corner of 19th Street and University Avenue. Dixon is almost finished with the model and will begin casting it soon. He expects the project to be completed by October or November.