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Man accused of 3 homicides in Hampton Roads admits to shooting girlfriend, setting house on fire in jailhouse interview

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Posted at 1:32 PM, Mar 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-01 20:42:15-04

*Some may find details in this story disturbing.

NORFOLK, Va. - Just seconds into a half-hour interview in the Virginia Beach City Jail, a man accused of second-degree murder and arson admitted to shooting his girlfriend and setting her townhome on fire.

Cola Beale IV told News 3 reporter Chelsea Donovan that he "snapped" and shot his girlfriend C'zavier Hill, 31, in the head because her parents "kept confronting him about his future plans" with their daughter.

"I had a breaking point. Her mom kept calling, and she was crying," Beale said.

Beale said he was fed up with her parents interfering in their relationship and her attitude changed, so he told Donovan he shot Hill in the head inside her Virginia Beach townhome last Tuesday.

"I pulled her dog in the room and I was gonna set the dog on fire, and she told me, 'No, don’t do nothing to the dog. You can take me and do whatever you were going to do to the dog to me instead,' and so that's what I did," Beale said.

Hill's body was discovered two days later by police when her townhome went up in flames.

Beale says he has "no remorse" for killing Hill.

"When you snap, you don't think about remorse," he said.

Related: Psychologist weighs in on lack of remorse from man accused of multiple homicides throughout Hampton Roads

Twelve hours after Beale killed Hill, he headed to his adopted father Clifton Baxter's home on Linda Court in Virginia Beach, where he killed the 73-year-old. Beale said with him during that murder was his cousin, 32-year-old Downing McLean, who would become his third victim.

Beale told Donovan the two of them got into an argument after he killed Baxter.

"I got fed up with him because he didn't think I was helping him, so I said, 'Man, I just killed two people... do you think I'm not ready to shoot again?'" Beale said. "I went right in the kitchen, shot him in the head. He didn’t drop and kept moving, so I shot him in the back to make sure he hit the ground."

Three days in a row, three victims.

Beale told Donovan he then went to Hampton on Thursday, taking McLean's girlfriend as his hostage, to "chill" in an Airbnb and watch the manhunt for himself on the news.

"I was watching y'all's broadcasts. Y'all did some good broadcasts," he said.

He said while in his Airbnb, he was plotting who to kill next.

"I was definitely looking for more people but choosing my people wisely," he said.

One week after Beale started his killing spree, he was caught by U.S. Marshals.

Now, from behind bars, the admitted killer says he has a message for those watching.

"You just admitted to us to killing three people, and your advice to people at home is to go check on your loved ones?" Donovan asked.

"Yes, yes, because if they don’t check, they don’t know someone is dead since last Tuesday," Beale said.

Beale has a criminal history dating back to 2005. Armed robbery and sexual assault on child are just a few of the crimes for which Beale served prison time.

According to court documents, Beale pleaded guilty to sexual battery with a child younger than 13 years old. He was sentenced to a year in prison in 2018 for sexual abuse that happened in 2005.

Because of a plea agreement with Beale pleading guilty, the charge was reduced to misdemeanor under the condition Beale would register as a sex offender. Beale registered with the sex offender registry in 2018 and again in 2020, listing his address in Virginia Beach.

News 3 combed through documents, and they reveal Beale pleaded guilty to several charges in 2012, including conspiracy, two separate charges of robbery including armed robbery and use of a firearm by a felony.

Beale served six years for those crimes under the condition of good behavior after his release and supervised probation. He was released under the condition of having good behavior upon release, but in 2019 he was arrested for violation of probation.

According to court documents, his last known place of employment was at a thrift store.

Virginia Beach Police Chief Paul Neudigate described Beale as a "very dangerous individual."

On Thursday, News 3 confirmed that Cola Beale IV's biological father, Cola Winbone Beale, was arrested in 2014 for the murder of a 47-year-old Gaithersburg woman. The victim was identified as June Carlita Beale, his wife.

Beale IV is in jail under no bond. He faced a judge Friday and it was decided that his preliminary hearing will be June 2 at 8:30 a.m.

He was also appointed a public defender who will visit him in the next 48 hours. Public defenders said Friday that they will likely have Beale undergo a mental health evaluation.

We reached out to the victims' families, who asked for privacy at this time.