AKRON, Ohio — An Akron man will likely spend the rest of his life in prison for the murders of three people roughly three years ago.
Coley Richardson, 45, had been on trial for one of the killings this week but eventually decided to plead guilty to all three homicides, along with a separate charge of having a weapon under disability. Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Susan Baker Ross then sentenced Richardson to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 54 years, making it highly probable he will die behind bars.
Richardson shot and killed all of his victims during a roughly six-month period in 2019, beginning with 41-year-old Freddy Todd that April following an argument. In June, Richardson then murdered 44-year-old Nickole Coleman while she was sitting in her car outside a home Richardson was staying at, and police and federal officials subsequently began a manhunt for the suspect.
Authorities finally arrested Richardson that October, but not until after he had also taken the life of 59-year-old Michael Anderson in another shooting. Investigators said they were able to connect Richardson to all three murders using DNA and ballistics testing.
"Coley Richardson showed no remorse for any of the victims or their family," Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh said in a statement following sentencing. "He murdered them in cold blood. He needs to spend the rest of his life in prison to keep the community safe."
Richardson had been in custody ever since his arrest, with legal debates and the COVID-19 pandemic delaying court proceedings until now.