Coleman Nocks, 63, entered his plea without the benefit of an attorney present, telling 2nd District Judge W. Brent West he cannot afford an attorney at this time. West approved a motion to appoint a public defender and set July 6 for a pretrial hearing.
Meanwhile, Bugman Pest and Lawn Inc., owner Ray Wilson Sr., continues to wait for his attorneys to give the go-ahead on a statement he would like to release concerning the incident.
Last week, Wilson met with his attorneys to begin drafting the statement, saying he believed it would be ready early this week. However, as of press time Wednesday, his attorneys still hadn’t given the OK.
On Tuesday, Nocks, the former exterminator who is accused of placing too much pesticide in burrows in front of the Toone home to kill field mice, was somber as he stood before West.
He faces two counts of negligent homicide, a class A misdemeanor. If convicted, he could face up to a year in jail on each of the two counts.
Four-year-old Rebecca Toone and her 15-month-old sister Rachel, died in early February. The medical examiner’s office determined the children died after being exposed to aluminum phosphide, a pesticide sold under the brand name Fumitoxen.
Nocks is accused of placing more than a pound of Fumitoxen a few feet from the Toone family’s front porch and garage.
Family members became ill that night and went to the emergency room believing they may have carbon monoxide poisoning. Four-year-old Rebecca died the next day. Baby Rachel died Feb. 9.
The Toone family did not attend Tuesday’s hearing, although they had been notified of it, Assistant Layton City attorney Steve Garside said.
Garside said prosecutors want to see justice is done. “Just as we want to make sure the wrongs are addressed, we want to make sure his (Nocks’) rights are protected as well, So, we think it’s appropriate that he be able to have the opportunity to meet with counsel and to discuss those issues.”
Nocks did not speak to the press following the hearing.