UPDATE: A parole release date has been set for the man convicted in a 1990 Catoosa County murder case.

Bob Jay Cole has served 28 years in prison for the murder of Benjamin West.

"After thorough consideration of the case, the board has scheduled an August 22, 2018, parole release date," Georgia Board of Pardon and Paroles Spokesman Steve Hayes said.


A convicted killer at the center of a 1990 Catoosa County murder case is expected to be set free.

Bob Jay Cole has served 28 years in prison for the murder of Benjamin West. Members of the Georgia Board of Pardon and Paroles granted him parole in April.

A release date has not been set.

Cole has been behind bars since he was a teenager. That means he's spent more time in prison than he has in society.

Family members of Benjamin West worry he might re-offend, but parole board members don't see it that way.

"It was just the beginning of life for him. When you graduate high school, that is the beginning,” Ellen Hogan, the victim’s sister said holding a high school graduation photo of her brother.

She was 12 years old when her brother, Benjamin West, was murdered.

"My brother's voice was taken away and I'm the only voice Benny has left now,” Hogan said.

West was 27 years old when he was shot and killed in August of 1990 in Catoosa County.

He had been reported missing two days before investigators found his body in a gravel pit near Battlefield Parkway and I-75.

Then 16-year-old Bob Jay Cole was charged with murder and armed robbery. The two knew each other from working at KFC.

Cole later pleaded guilty to the crimes.

"I learned a level of hate at 12 that most people see in the movies. I learned that the boogey man is real and the boogey was real for me at 12, but my boogey man is getting ready to go free,” Hogan said.

Cole was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

He later claimed West molested him, which West's family denies.

After serving 28 years and being denied parole six previous times, Cole will soon be a free man.

"I feel like murder is something you don't get to walk away from. A life sentence is a life sentence,” Hogan said.

Hogan hopes the board will reconsider its decision.

"Let me know where I need to show up. I will drive, I will walk the miles if I have to have it changed, at least for a few more years,” Hogan said.

Once Cole is released from the Coffee Correctional Facility in Nicholls, Georgia, he'll have intensive supervision.

A letter to the victim's family also said he'll be placed on voice recognition monitoring and will not be allowed to have any contact with the family.

At the time of Bob Cole's conviction, Georgia law said he must serve seven years before becoming parole eligible. He became parole eligible in November of 1997, but was denied.