Family still has questions after arrest made in McMinnville homicide

Barry Cole (Courtesy: Angie Russell)

McMINNVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The family of a marine who was found murdered in McMinnville two weeks ago said they still have unanswered questions about what happened to their loved one.

Barry Cole and his mother shared a home on Lind Street. She was the one who found his body on Feb. 6 inside an outbuilding on the property that he referred to as his “man cave” and was where he kept his model tanks, planes and ships.

“Our mother found him, which no parent should ever have to go through,” his sister, Angelia Russell, told News 2.

Photo: WKRN
Photo: WKRN

Family members told News 2 Cole had been beaten and stabbed.

“It was an evil, horrible crime that was done to Barry,” Russell said. “It was pure evil.”

Wesley Leverett has since been arrested in the case and the 25-year-old is charged with criminal homicide. Investigators said the two men were acquaintances and family members said they had met at the library.

A possible motive has not yet been discussed in the case, and Cole’s sister said the most important question in the case remains unanswered.

Wesley Leverett (Courtesy: Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)
Wesley Leverett (Courtesy: Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)

“Why? I mean, he was at Barry’s home. If they had a disagreement, or whatever happened, I don’t know, but he could have left. He could have went home. He could’ve left. He was at Barry’s house,” Angelia Russell said.

Family members said Cole was a loving and outgoing man, who was always smiling. He was also a dedicated marine.

“He lived and breathed the Marines. It was all he talked about,” Russell said. “It was in his blood, I guess you could say.”

Russell said her brother’s 23-year-old son plans to follow in his father’s footsteps and join the Army.

Leverett remains jailed in Warren County on a $1 million bond.