North Alabama family leans on faith while awaiting judge’s decision in their father’s murder case

Cole Cannon was beaten and then his home was set on fire by Miller and Smith.

Posted: Apr 22, 2021 4:51 PM
Updated: Apr 22, 2021 6:10 PM

The family of Cole Cannon is anxiously awaiting a decision from a Lawrence County judge on whether or not their father's killer will be given life with parole or without it.

Evan Miller and Colby Smith were both convicted of killing Cole Cannon in his Lawrence County home in 2003. Miller was 14 when he committed the murder. His case went before the Supreme Court in 2012, and the court ruled that juveniles sentenced to life without parole had to be re-sentenced.

Miller's re-sentencing hearing was 4 years ago, and since then, Cannon's family has been waiting for a verdict.

Cole Cannon's family said while they've waited for the judge's decision, it also brings up so many emotions for the family as they continue to fight for justice for their dad. Miller will either get life with the possibility of parole or life without next Tuesday, Apr. 27.

"Of course we want the same sentence, but it's a 50/50 decision that can go either way," said Cole Cannon's daughter, Candy Cheatham.

Cheatham and her siblings have plans of all being together and watching the judge's decision on what Evan Miller will serve for killing their dad.

"It's been 18 years. My dad was murdered July 16th of 2003, and it feels like a constant. It's always what happened is in the back of your mind," said Cheatham.

Cheatham said what's helping her family face another milestone in her dad's case and their fight for justice is their faith.

"Trying to not let my emotions override the truth that God has already given me, and he's already been faithful in getting us through this. Already, I know that he will get us through this again," said Cheatham.

Cheatham and her family had to petition the parole board last year to keep Cole's other killer, Colby Smith, behind bars. He will come up for parole again in 5 years. This is the fight they want to avoid. Fighting to keep two men in prison who murdered their dad.

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