Burnis Cole was arraigned Thursday on charges of first-degree murder while armed and a related weapons offense in connection with the stabbing death of 40-year-old Raasheem Jamal Rich. Cole pleaded innocent to all charges and remains held pending a status hearing November 14.
Police found Rich on January 10 at 3:27 p.m. on the 2800 block of Alabama Avenue Southeast suffering from apparent stab wounds. He was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead. One week later Cole, 35, was arrested and held on suspicion of first-degree murder while armed in Rich’s death.
Charging documents state that Rich was killed after a verbal altercation turned physical.
Video surveillance captures Cole and three other men exiting a gray Ford van parked on Alabama Avenue. The four men then enter a nearby liquor store, and Rich follows minutes later, documents state.
While in the store, Cole and Rich get into an argument, causing Cole to punch Rich, charging documents argue. Store employees then escort the five men outside. Cole exited the store before Rich, but as Cole was leaving he produced something resembling a knife from his pants pocket, court documents state.
Video shows Cole then waiting outside the store. Just before leaving the view of the camera, Cole is seen moving closer to Rich with his right arm extended, documents state.
Charging documents state that moments later, Rich runs into an adjacent parking lot. He rips his shirt off, and collapses to the sidewalk in front of the liquor store parking lot, court documents state.
A witness to the incident told police that Cole and Rich were arguing in the liquor store when Rich said something to the effect of, “F– that Ima kill your bitch ass,” documents state.
The witness said after everyone was ushered outside he ran away from the incident with a coworker he was with. According to charging documents, police later identified the witness as the driver of the gray Ford van that Cole was seen exiting from moments before Rich was murdered.
Cole is held pending a status hearing November 14 with Judge Herbert Dixon.