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Trial set in deaths of Layton girls

By Jennifer Stagg | Posted - Jan. 4, 2011 at 5:05 p.m.


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LAYTON -- A pesticide technician charged in the deaths of two Layton sisters now has a trial date.

Cole Nocks had no comment as he left court Tuesday with his attorney at his arm. Last August, he told KSL News he believes the medical examiner's report will show 4-year-old Rebecca and 15-month-old Rachel Toone died from something other than inhaling fumes from the pesticide he treated their home with.


We've got an individual who has been licensed, trained with being able to handle these harsh chemicals. He breached that obligation, that duty to the rest of us, and it can't be tolerated.

–Steve Garcide, Layton City attorney


"I take exception to the fact that statements were made and leaked to the press about this case because it forces the public not only to make a conclusion, but it also kind of prejudices them against someone defending themself in court," Nocks said.

However, Layton City Attorney Steve Garside says he is confident the evidence will show Nocks' actions caused the girls' deaths. He also said Nocks, 63, was never offered a plea deal and deserves to serve jail time.

"We've got an individual who has been licensed, trained with being able to handle these harsh chemicals," Garside said. "He breached that obligation, that duty to the rest of us, and it can't be tolerated."

Nocks has repeatedly expressed concern for the Toone family, and he did so again off camera Tuesday. He is charged with two counts of negligent homicide.

Coleman Nocks of Bountiful, Utah, left, appears with his attorney Bruce Larsen before the Second District Court in Layton, Utah Tuesday, January 4, 2011. (Pool photo by Matthew Arden Hatfield)
Coleman Nocks of Bountiful, Utah, left, appears with his attorney Bruce Larsen before the Second District Court in Layton, Utah Tuesday, January 4, 2011. (Pool photo by Matthew Arden Hatfield)

Rachel and Rebecca Toone's parents sat hand in hand in court for Tuesday's hearing. They also had no comment as they left the courthouse.

They have stayed mostly silent about their feelings concerning the case but have stated that they hold no ill feelings toward Nocks.

Nocks, 63, pleaded not guilty to charges of negligent homicide in June in the deaths of Rebecca, 4, and her sister Rachel Toone, 15 months. Nocks treated the Toones' home for a vole infestation in early February. The young girls died from apparent exposure to a pesticide less than three days after their home was treated.

Prosecutors say their deaths were caused by Fumotoxin applied by Nocks. Investigators determined Nocks had used large amounts of the pesticide and applied it much too closely to the home.

The next hearing is scheduled for April 4 at 9:30 a.m., with the trial beginning the next month, on May 16. If found guilty, Nocks faces a maximum punishment of a year in jail or a $2,500 fine.

E-mail: jstagg@ksl.com

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Jennifer Stagg

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