“So pending their investigation, the case may be adopted for federal prosecution,” Flynn said.
Marietta attorney Angel Cordle and one of her clients, David Eugene Haynes, have been charged with felony criminal damage following an explosion in a mailbox in front of law offices occupied by three other attorneys on Atlanta Street in the city.
Cordle said her attorney, Kevin Rodgers, told her she wasn’t allowed to speak about the case to the press.
“I can say I would love to talk to you, but I don’t want to hinder the investigation, and my attorney told me not to do that, but I’m cooperating with the police to get the perpetrators that did this,” Cordle said. “I’ve cooperated from the very beginning. I’ve done everything in my power to assist the police, and I guess that’s all I’m really allowed to say. I’m innocent. I can say that.”
Police say Cordle and Haynes stopped at the law offices occupied by Marian Weeks, Justin Wyatt and Lawrence Burke, on the evening of Dec. 21.
Haynes, according to the warrant, got out of the car and placed an explosive device in the mailbox and returned to the car. The device then exploded, destroying the mailbox.
Cordle’s husband, real estate attorney Rob Coats, emailed the Journal a statement Monday proclaiming his wife’s innocence.
“As a property owner on Frasier Street off of Atlanta Street, I appreciate the efforts of Mr. Haynes and Angel Cordle in trying to help the police locate the vandals that damaged the mailbox at 367 Atlanta Street, and that also damaged property at Ms. Cordle’s property immediately beforehand,” Coats wrote in his email. “Ms. Cordle has cooperated with all police efforts from giving a statement to police immediately upon their arrival, and she has continued to cooperate with the investigation. Ms. Cordle absolutely denies damaging any property and will follow her attorney’s instruction to not make any statements that could hinder the investigation. We certainly regret the controversy and speculations which have arisen, and appreciate the outpouring of support we have received from individuals who are aware of the circumstances.”
Coats purchased the 1844-era antebellum Bostwick-Fraser House in 2007 from developer Wes Godwin to use as law offices for Cordle’s practice. The Bostwick-Fraser House is located around the corner from where the explosion occurred.
Marietta Police Officer David Baldwin said both Cordle and Haynes have been released on bond following the criminal damage charges.
Baldwin said investigators are still trying to determine what substance was used to blow up the mailbox.
“Depending on what was used to blow up the mailbox, other charges could still be pending,” he said.
The witness to the incident was Weeks’ paralegal, Erin Fox, who was taking her three children and their 14-year-old friend to see the Lights of Life exhibit that evening at Life University.
“The victim (Fox) and her juvenile children were in close proximity to the mailbox and could have been struck by shrapnel from the destroyed mailbox,” the warrant reads.
Flynn said the area of the explosion does not usually have problems with vandalism.
“No crime patterns in the neighborhood,” Flynn said. “This is an unusual kind of crime and especially for Marietta.”
Burke, one of the three attorneys whose mailbox was blown up, expressed shock at what happened.
“We’ve not experienced anything on a similar level at any point in time,” Burke said. “I could not understand why anyone would do that to begin with.”
Burke, who also serves as an associate judge in Marietta Municipal Court, said he’s practiced out of his office for more than a decade.
“For someone to say that there’s vandalism in the area and that’s the reason for it I think is a pretty far stretch as well,” he said.
Burke said he can’t understand why anyone would target their law office.
“I don’t know Angel Cordle myself personally very well at all,” he said. “I know that two of the other attorneys have had dealings — cases where they’ve been on opposite sides — with her, Marian Weeks and Justin Wyatt, but I’m unaware of any bad blood.”
Baldwin said police were also trying to establish a motive.
“Right now there is not a clear motive as to why they did it,” Baldwin said. “It’s reported that there may be some issues between these two, but we don’t know what led up to this.”