Accused murderer told deputies he ‘snapped’

Matt Stensland
Cole Pollard

— Court records show Cole Pollard told deputies he “snapped,” choked Patricia Richmond to death and then raped her.

“When asked if he was provoked in any way, Pollard indicated he was not provoked,” the arrest affidavit states. “When Pollard was asked to elaborate on what he meant by ‘snapped,’ Pollard did not elaborate.”

Pollard told deputies “he choked Trish to death,” tied her up and then raped her. Pollard then said he stole several items from the home and left.

According to the affidavit, the medical examiner determined Richmond, 22, died from asphyxiation through strangulation.

Pollard on Thursday was formally charged with two counts of first-degree murder, first-degree burglary and theft. One of the murder charges is related to sexual assault.

Pollard had his first court appearance Thursday before Routt County Judge James Garrecht, who ordered that Pollard be held without bond. Pollard’s next court appearance is at 8:45 a.m. Monday.

Many of Richmond’s friends and family members attended the brief hearing and broke down in the hallway afterwards. They did not want to comment.

Pollard sat with his head down during the court proceeding, and it appeared his eyes were closed. Members of Pollard’s family also attended.

After the hearing, Steamboat resident Kat Kelly said Pollard was like a son to her, and he played baseball with her sons. She said Pollard attended Steamboat Springs High School.

“He’s very close to my heart, so I’m here to support him no matter which way this goes,” Kelly said. “It’s tragic. I can’t imagine Cole doing this. It’s not in his DNA.”

Pollard was arrested Wednesday after Routt County Sheriff’s Office deputies found him at a campsite in the Flat Tops Wilderness Area.

On Monday night, a member of the West family discovered Richmond’s body in a bedroom at the West home in North Routt County east of Clark. Richmond, who was engaged to 24-year-old Keith West and lived at the West home, had last been seen Monday morning.

Guns, money and a samurai sword were discovered missing from the home.

According to the affidavit, investigators learned Richmond and Pollard had been seen just after 2 p.m. Monday at The Clark Store. Neighbors saw Pollard’s truck at the West home, and the truck left the home at about 4 p.m.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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