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Man charged with stabbing mother of his kids, killing their grandmother

Suspect in deadly attack at Townsend Apartments denied bond

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office arrested Alonzo Cole on charges of murder, attempted murder.
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office arrested Alonzo Cole on charges of murder, attempted murder.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man accused of stabbing the mother of his three children and killing her mother in an Arlington apartment complex Saturday is facing charges in the attack.

Alonzo O’Neal Cole, 34, was booked into the Duval County Jail at 4 a.m. Tuesday on charges of second-degree murder and attempted murder.

Cole is accused of fatally stabbing Barbara Grubbs, 55, who died after she was attacked just after 2 p.m. in her unit at the Townsend Apartments. Her daughter, Rebecca Grubbs, had been in a relationship with Cole and the two had three children together, family members told News4Jax. 

They said the children were in the home when Barbara and Rebecca Grubbs were attacked. Rebecca Grubbs was wounded “all over her body,” according to family members, but she is expected to survive.

She is being treated at a hospital.

Barbara Grubbs was killed in a stabbing and her daughter, Rebecca Grubbs, was wounded Saturday.

Cole's mother, who declined to give her first name, told News4Jax on Tuesday, after learning of her son's arrest, that she was devastated.

“I can’t talk because it hurts me so bad,” she said. “My son is not a murderer, but it’s just the point that something happened that went wrong over there. My heart goes out to Miss Barbara and I’m praying that Rebecca recovers fully.”

Cole's mother said he spent several violent years in prison and was affected by it.

“He had been traumatized.  He had been stabbed 14 times when he was in jail,” she said

According to records from the Florida Department of Corrections, Cole was released from prison in March after serving time on drug charges.

Most recently, in 2018, he was arrested for leaving the scene of a crash.

In 2016, he was arrested for battery in a detention facility. However, those charges were later dropped.

Alonzo Cole appeared in court Tuesday and was ordered to be held without bond on the murder charge.

“He needs to think about what he done,” said a cousin, who declined to give her name. “Someone like that does not need to be out on the streets.”

Cole could face a life sentence on the murder charge and 15 years in prison on the attempted murder charge.

The Grubbs family has a GoFundMe account to help raise money for Barbara Grubbs' funeral. A vigil is planned Tuesday night at the apartment complex where the women lived.

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Specializes in Clay County issues, general assignment reporting and stories off the beaten path and anchors weekend evening newscasts.