'Too little, too late' in domestic murder of DC Iraq veteran

A man who allegedly violated a court order to stay away from his ex- girlfriend was ordered held behind bars without bail Friday.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - A man accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend in Southeast, D.C. Wednesday was under a judge's order to stay away from her, but police could not confirm the order existed when the victim called for help, according to court documents revealed Friday.

At a hearing on Friday, 35-year-old Larry Fearn was ordered held without bail in a D.C. lockup on charges he viciously stabbed and killed 31-year-old Paula R. Coles while she held the couple's 11-month old child. 

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The child was found by police in a pool of his mother's blood in the hallway of Coles' apartment building in the 3000 block of 30th St. SE about 9:50 a.m. Wednesday.

According to charging documents in the case, Coles had called police for help the night before the murder and told officers about the protective order, but Fearn was not arrested. 

Fearn, Larry - Charging Documents - Sept 2017 by wusa9 on Scribd

Officers "...were unable to locate evidence of such an order...", according to charging documents.

Coles' mother Anquinette Coles said Fearn's jailing Friday pending trial was "too little, too late."

But the documents also reveal that despite the stay-away order, Coles had allowed Fearn to visit her apartment in the weeks after he was released from jail after being convicted of attacking her and the child in July.

"The male subject began to stay with the decedent, as the decedent wished to assist the male subject with adjusting from being released from jail," investigators wrote.

Larry Fearn Court Docs by wusa9 on Scribd

On August 17th, Fearn was sentenced to five months in jail for attacking Coles and the baby in the July incident. He was released from jail less than a month later on September 14th with part of the sentence suspended for time already served.

Fearn appeared at Coles' apartment a short time later despite the judges order to stay away from her as a condition of his release.

Coles' mother said her daughter had "a heart of gold" and believed she could help Fearn. Coles had a new boyfriend and had ended the romantic relationship with Fearn, the mother said.

Police were called to Coles apartment the evening of September 26th during a "heated argument" between Fearn and the new boyfriend.   

Coles was murdered the next morning when Fearn allegedly returned.

Coles was an Iraq War veteran who left the US Army with service-related seizures and PTSD. She was the single-mother of three children aged 8 to 11 months.

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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