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Cole Dufton

Wayne man charged with murder

HONESDALE, PA — Pennsylvania State Police have charged Cole Dufton, 25, with the homicide of 51-year-old Suzette Bullis. She was shot to death with a single bullet through her head, on December 19, 2018, according to court papers.

The affidavit of probable cause contains a statement by Bullis’ daughter that indicates her mother was selling pills to Dufton, and the two may have had a disagreement regarding drugs.

In the affidavit Trooper John Decker writes, “I arrived on scene. There appeared to be a gunshot wound to Suzette Bullis’ head and a 9mm gold-colored casing was discovered at the scene, however, no firearm was located on scene. Apparent blood stains were observed on the bedspread of the victim’ s bed. Numerous prescription pill bottles were observed in the victim’s room as well as on the kitchen table and bed. Several pill bottles on the bed had apparent blood transfer on them. Several more pill bottles on the kitchen table also had blood transfer on them.”

A neighbor, Robert Cone, told police that he had recently been at Suzette’s home when Dufton arrived on the scene. Dufton was upset and yelling at Suzette about a deal that had gone bad, and that Dufton was out $1,500. Cone said at one point Dufton pulled a handgun out of his waistband and slammed it down on the ottoman in the living room and “said he was going to kill the guy that stiffed him.”

Bullis’ daughter Melinda was also interviewed and said that Dufton was extremely upset with Suzette. From the affidavit, “Melinda advised that her mother sounded upset and very nervous. Melinda advised that she then asked her mother what this all was about. She advised that her mother told her that someone had really been after her for a lot of pills and when she told them, ‘no,’ they got really upset. Melinda advised that she was aware that her mother had been selling pills for a long time and had never seen or heard her upset like this. Melinda then started asking Sue who this person was. Melinda advised that for several minutes Sue would not tell her who the person was. Melinda advised that eventually Sue told her that Cole Dufton was the one that was badgering her for the pills.”

Officers interviewed Dufton several times the next day after the shooting, and he said he did not own a handgun. But police ultimately found a gun in his house, and a social media post showing that he, Dufton, had received a handgun that looked very much like the one found in his house. They also discovered that in November Dufton had purchased the type of ammunition that killed Bullis.

District Attorney Robinson said in a statement, “This execution style killing is very disgusting and obviously unconscionable. The Pennsylvania State Police did an outstanding job of investigating and documenting this crime as evidenced by the comprehensive Affidavit of Probable Cause filed by Trooper Decker. “This defendant, Cole Francis Dufton, had the motive, the means, and the opportunity to kill Suzette Bullis. Dufton is the last known person to see Suzette Bullis alive. Bullis was shot with a pistol found in Dufton’s bedroom. The circumstantial evidence is clear. I believe that this is a drug-related murder. I will personally handle the prosecution of this defendant.”

 

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