Flanagan's Brother Takes Stand in Murder Trial

August 11, 2005 -- Posted at 6:02 p.m. CDT

LAKE CITY, AR – The defense continued with testimony Thursday in the capital murder trial of Judy Flanagan. The 44-year-old Lepanto woman is charged with killing 51-year-old Dennis Coats in June of 2004.
Jurors were released about 2:30 Tuesday afternoon and while they won't be back here in the courtroom until 9:00 a.m. Friday morning, they did have a chance to meet one of the key players in the case.
Flanagan's brother, Henry Dale Roach took the stand Thursday morning and testified about his involvement in the case. He claimed that he, his sister Judy and Dennis and Beverly Coats had all traveled to a bar together in Manilla on the evening of June 11, 2004.
Roach testified that the four had gone to an area known as 'the woods' in Lepanto to buy drugs. Afterwards, the group returned to the Coats' home, and Dennis left with Judy to give her a ride home. He also testified that Judy returned by herself back to the Coats' residency, claiming that Dennis had stopped and gotten into a white van.
Roach said he then left to go to friend Don Clay's house where he did drugs all night, including crystal Meth.
In a surprising twist, Roach admitted to having an affair with Beverly Coats, but said he ended the relationship after she tried to persuade him to go with her to Marmaduke and when he refused, she stated, "We won't kill you."
The defense also called Karen Goodwin as a witness. She testified that she lived with Don Clay at the time of the murder, and Dale Roach had come to their home that night asking the couple to be an alibi. She also claimed that Roach had told her that Dennis had wanted to couple swap. Goodwin also testified that Roach had dried blood on his hands.
Beverly Coats did not take the stand today. Instead, she pled the fifth amendment on the advice of her attorney.