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Broome County trial begins for man accused in murder and kidnapping for hire plot

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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- Testimony has begun in the trial of a man accused of hiring someone to murder two people and kidnap two others.

The Broome County District Attorney's Office told 12 News the trial of 48-year-old Harold M. Cole began Tuesday in Broome County Court.

Cole is facing several felony conspiracy charges for trying to hire a hitman while in the Broome County Correctional Facility; Cole was in the facility because he himself was previously arrested on kidnapping charges.

Prosecutors allege Cole offered to pay a man $1,000 in exchange for the murder of two people and the kidnapping of an additional two individuals; they also say Cole offered 'a life of servitude to the Aryan Brotherhood' as part of his payment.

Cole faces two charges of conspiracy in the second degree for the murder-for-hire plot, Class B felonies which carry potential sentences of up to 25 years in prison.

He also faces two lesser charges of conspiracy in the fourth degree for trying to get the man to kidnap the two women, Class E felonies.

These charges are on top of the kidnapping charges that landed Cole in jail in the first place.

The trial continues Wednesday.

Josh Rosenblatt

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