Residents learned Tuesday that Madison resident John Williams, 30, is guilty of murder in the shooting death of Cpl. Eugene Cole last April.
“We will always remember him for what he's done, and we appreciate that,” said Gloria Frederick, owner of Frederick's Dar-I-Whip, an ice cream parlor and restaurant that has been in town for more than five decades. “We're thankful for it.”
“He was a good guy,” said Andrew Mayou, a Norridgewock resident who has worked with Cole's family in the past.
Both said Cole was well-known in the area.
“I'm happy about the verdict, obviously,” Mayou said. “He got what he deserved.”
Frederick added, “I thought that justice had been done. I hope that it brings closure to the Cole family. And I'm hoping that the town of Norridgewock, which has been through a lot in 2018, will be able to move on.”
Cole's brother also hopes for closure.
“Maybe some of the wounds can start healing because it seems like this year as one wound starts to mend, it gets ripped back open,” Tom Cole said on the steps of the Cumberland County Courthouse in Portland after Williams was deemed guilty. “So hopefully now we'll be able to mend a little bit.”
He added, “Hopefully, we can start to sleep at night again.”
Cole was working as a deputy with the Somerset County Sheriff's Office when he was gunned down on April 25, 2018. He had served the department for 13 years, and his son, David, followed in his footsteps and currently is a deputy. Cole also previously served with the U.S. Army.
He was the first law enforcement officer in Maine to die in the line of duty since 1989.
Remembering Cole is not a problem for local residents.
“He was always around and friendly,” Frederick said. “A very nice citizen for the town of Norridgewock.”
She added, “And we can have the good memories and maybe they'll, hopefully, they override the bad memories.”