Toledo man accused of fatally strangling woman pleads not guilty

Andres Pecina is facing a murder charge in the death of Erica Cole. Advocacy groups say Ohio needs to to strengthen protections for domestic violence victims.
Published: Aug. 30, 2022 at 5:04 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - A Toledo man who is accused of fatally strangling a woman pleaded not guilty Thursday.

According to court records, Andres Pecina III, 39, appeared in court on Sept. 29. where he pleaded not guilty in the murder of Erica Cole, 43.

Police said officers responded to a home in the 1500 block of Navarre around 4:30 p.m. Monday, August 29, for reports of a suicide. Officers found Cole unresponsive. She died at the scene. The Lucas County Coroner’s Office said the scene was suspicious from the onset of the investigation.

That day, Pecina was booked into the Lucas County jail on a Domestic Violence warrant from a previous incident with the victim, police said. Court documents show Pecina is accused of stomping on Cole’s head and punching her in the face on Saturday, August 27.

On Tuesday, Pecina was charged with murder after police conferred with the coroner’s office and county prosecutors. The coroner said Cole died from ligature strangulation and ruled her death a homicide.

A judge set Pecina’s bond at $1 million at no 10%.

Pecina is set to appear back in court on Oct. 31 at 1 p.m.

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