Tammy Cole found guilty - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Tammy Cole found guilty

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SPARTA, Wisconsin (WXOW) - It took a jury around three hours to come back with guilty verdicts on both charges against Tammy Cole.

The jury convicted Cole on one count each of first degree intentional homicide and attempted arson.

Following the verdict, bond was revoked and Cole taken into custody. 

A hearing is scheduled for next week to set a date for sentencing. 

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Sparta, WI (WXOW) - UPDATED 6PM:  The fate of an Illinois woman accused in a fatal shooting of a Tomah man is in the hands of the jury.

Closing arguments concluded shortly before 6pm Friday, in the Tammy Cole trial in Monroe County.

Cole is charged with first degree intentional homicide in connection with the April shooting of 53-year old Vance Evans.

The 47-year old Cole took the stand Friday, saying in part, the shooting was accidental.

Tammy Cole tried to hold back tears as she took the stand and testified in her own defense.

She talked about the hours leading to the shooting.

She told the jury that on the night of April 26th, she drove from her hometown in Illinois to Tomah to surprise her boyfriend Vance Evans.

Cole said she met Evans at his house, they had several drinks and then Evans confessed that he was seeing another a woman.

On the stand Cole said the secret upset her because she still was romantically interested in Evans.

That is why she was worried, when she discovered a loaded handgun on the coffee table.

She claims she was concerned that Evans would kill himself.

At that moment Evans approached her while she was holding the gun, they embraced, and she says that is when the gun accidentally fired.

Cole said, "We stumbled. The gun went off."

Defense Attorney Michael Rabbitt asked, "The gun went off?"

Cole replied, "Yes."

Rabbitt asked, "Do you have any idea how the gun went off?"

Cole replied, "No."

Cole told the jury that after the shooting she kicked the gas line in the kitchen and went up stairs to lay down hoping the gas would take her life.

After the failed attempt she said she left and drove back to Illinois.

Evans' body was found early the next morning.

During closing arguments the defense stated that the shooting was an accident.

Cole's attorney says when Evans and Cole went to embrace the gun accidentally fired.

The prosecution argued that Cole was upset that Evans admitted that he was in another relationship so she found a gun in the home and shot him.

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