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Trial date set for technician charged in deaths of Layton girls

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 4 2011 11:21 p.m. MST

Coleman Nocks of Bountiful, left, appears with his attorney Bruce Larsen before the Second District Court in Layton.

Matthew Arden Hatfield, Matthew Arden Hatfield, Standard

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, his attorney on his arm. Before court, he told the Deseret News he was interested to see if the case would be dismissed, but Layton City Attorney Steve Garside said 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."

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.

The next hearing is scheduled for April 4 at 9:30 a.m., with the trial beginning the next month on May 16, and continuing for six days.

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 fewer than three days after their home was treated. They died from apparent exposure to a pesticide.

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.

e-mail: jstagg@desnews.com

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