BELLEVILLE — The estranged husband and another man were charged Wednesday afternoon with first-degree murder of a 23-year-old Belleville woman while the couple's daughters were in the home.
John Cole, 24, of 1101 Lebanon Ave., Belleville, was charged by the St. Clair County State's Attorney's office with first-degree murder, home invasion and attempted first-degree murder. His bail was set at $1.5 million.
A second man, Garfield J. Fenton, 21, of 1516 Ohio, East St. Louis, was charged with first-degree murder and home invasion. Bail for Fenton was also set at $1.5 million.
Both men were being held Wednesday afternoon at the Belleville city jail and will be arraigned Thursday, Belleville Police Capt. John Moody said.
The suspects are charged with stabbing to death Le'Nae Cole in her home at 607 E. McKinley St., Apt. A in Belleville, Moody said. A man, who police would not identify, also was stabbed in the home Monday night.
Le'Nae Cole obtained an order of protection against John Cole in April after she said he choked her and tied her to a chair for two hours. She filed for divorce in late May.
The couple has two daughters, ages 1 and 4, who were home during their mother's murder.
"The men and women of the patrol division, the investigators in the detective bureau and crime scene investigators did an exceptional job putting this case together from the apprehension of the suspects to putting the case together to present to the State's Attorney's office for review," Moody said. "It was outstanding teamwork."
Contact reporter Carolyn P. Smith at 239-2503.