July 2, 2024

Commonwealth v. Cola Winborne Beale IV; Man Sentenced to 3 Life Terms plus 62 Years for Killing Girlfriend, Father-Figure, and Burning Dog Alive

Virginia Beach, Va. – Colin D. Stolle, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the city of Virginia Beach, announced that Cola Winborne Beale IV, age 33, formerly of the 700 block of Linda Court in Virginia Beach, Virginia, was sentenced for charges of Aggravated Murder – Killing of More than 1 Person in 3 Year Period (2 counts), Abduction, Torture/Mutilate Dog Causing Death, Use of Firearm in the Commission of a Felony (2 counts), Arson of a Dwelling with Malice, and Arson of Personal Property.  He was found guilty of these charges after a three-day jury trial on March 20, 2024.  Circuit Court Judge James C. Lewis, who presided over the trial, sentenced Beale to two (2) life terms without the possibility of parole, one (1) life term, 62 years and 12 months. This sentence also includes three (3) probation violation charges, as Beale was on probation for three separate sets of charges while he committed these murders.

The Commonwealth’s evidence proved that between March 22, 2022, and March 24, 2022, Cola Winborne Beale IV engaged in a violent crime spree, killing his girlfriend, his father-figure, and his girlfriend’s dog.  On March 22, 2022, Beale and his girlfriend, Czavi’er Hill, were captured on Ring doorbell footage entering Hill’s house on Baccalaureate Drive in Virginia Beach.  The couple was heard arguing on the Ring footage, and then there was a “pop” sound as Beale shot and killed Hill.  Beale later left the home but continued to come and go from the home in Hill’s car in the days following the murder.  At times, he was recorded taking property from Hill’s residence, including her Smith and Wesson handgun which he had used to shoot her. 

On March 24, 2022, Beale returned to Hill’s home with a towel covering his face.  He held a bag, which was later searched and determined to have a gas can inside. Beale started fires within her house, burning alive Hill’s dog in his crate.  He then fled her house and set her car on fire down the street. Fire and police were called to the fires and discovered Hill and her dog’s bodies.  Hill had been bound and duct taped.   

Sometime between Hill’s murder on March 22 and the morning of March 25, 2022, Beale went to the home of Clifton Baxter, whom he knew to be like a father figure.  Using the gun he stole from Hill, he shot Baxter in the head as Baxter slept on a couch in his living room. A concerned family friend called the police to do a welfare check on Baxter after not hearing from Baxter for several days.  Police found him dead on his couch on the morning of March 25, 2022.    

Investigators developed Beale as a suspect in both homicides and arrested him in Hampton on March 31, 2022.  Within minutes during an interview with detectives, Beale began to confess in great detail to all of the crimes he committed; saying, “I did all this shit”.  When asked if he felt any remorse, Beale said, “I don’t feel nothin’ right now.” 

Bullets recovered from both victims were forensically analyzed and linked to Hill’s gun, which was found in a bedroom at the location where Beale was arrested.   BB&T bank documents belonging to Baxter were also found there. 

Beale has prior convictions for Robbery (2 counts), Use of a Firearm, Wearing a Mask in Public, Conspiracy, Sexual Battery, and DUI. In May 2024, Beale was convicted by a jury in Norfolk for charges of First Degree Murder and Use of a Firearm for killing his cousin around the time of the Virginia Beach murders.

Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael D. Defricke and then Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Kari A. Kolar prosecuted this case. Please contact Macie Allen if additional information is desired.

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