Emotional breakdown delays plea deal in manslaughter case

10:07 AM, Jan 3, 2014   |    comments
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BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- The Bangor man accused of strangling his girlfriend went before a judge to plead guilty to a manslaughter charge, but it was a plea the judge would not accept. David Coon entered the courtroom clearly emotional not capable of holding back his tears.

As he pleaded guilty, the judge questioned his emotional state and whether it was hindering his ability to think clearly. Coon told the judge once again he did not mean to kill his girlfriend, Sherry Clifford, claiming she was drinking and attacked him.

An autopsy showed Clifford died from asphyxiation and a neck injury. After hearing Coon claim once again he never touched her throat, the judge called a recess and chose not to accept his plea until a later date.

Coon's defense attorney Jeff Silverstein said, "He's been emotional throughout and when I first interviewed with you folks following his initial appearance I indicated he was anguished because he didn't intend this result. This was a woman that he cared for deeply and he is very troubled by the fact that she is gone and that he played some role in this. Now she had her issues and they greatly contributed to her own demise, but he is very remorseful over the conduct that he engaged in over which in part led to this result."

The state did offer Coon the lesser sentence of manslaughter with a recommendation that he serve a maximum sentence of 12 years.

The judge will hear from Coon again next month before deciding if she will accept the plea and provide him with a sentence.

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