Flanagan Murder Trial Begins

August 8, 2005 – Posted at 6:59 p.m. CDT

LAKE CITY, AR -- Testimony began in a murder trial in Lake City, in eastern Craighead County.
51-year year old Dennis Coats of Caraway was found naked, stabbed to death at the Hatchie Coon Wildlife Management area near Black Oak in June of 2004. 43-year-old Judy Flanagan faces capital murder charges.
“I don’t like it, to tell you the damn truth, and I want somebody to get punished,” said Dennis Coats’ father Junior Alton Coats.
Judy Flanagan faced a jury of her peers on Monday. Several members of local law enforcement took the stand to testify about the case. Two audiotapes and a videotape were played of Flanagan’s alleged confession to the crime.
“I spent 51 years raising that boy, and I didn’t raise him for no woman to kill and get away with it,” said Coats.
“I really miss my brother, you bet I do,” said Ricky Coats, Dennis’ brother.
The state has waived the death penalty in this case, so if Flanagan is convicted of capital murder, she will face life in prison without parole.