August 13, 2005 – Posted at 12:49 p.m. CDT
LAKE CITY, AR -- Freedom ended for 44-year-old Judy Ann Flanagan just before midnight Friday evening. A Region 8 jury convicted her of capital murder charges and decided she will spend the rest of her life behind bars, with out the chance of parole, for the death of 51-year-old Dennis Coats.
Her conviction came after a week of testimony and evidence presented by Craighead County prosecutors Brent Davis and Alan Copelin. The team called to the stand nearly two-dozen witnesses who testified about Flanagan’s involvement in Coats’ murder during the course of the trial.
Flanagan’s defense team was represented by Little Rock attorneys Lou Marczek and Robbie Golden and by Craighead County Public Defender Charlene Henry.
Friday’s testimony concluded of defense witness Tammy Fagan and the state’s witness, Dr. Del Thomas, a psychologist at Mid-South Health Systems of Jonesboro. Dr. Thomas testified about his evaluation of Flanagan. He felt that she suffered from major depression and borderline personality disorder, but did not suffer from any mental diseases. He also reported that she had been treated as an outpatient at Mid-South Health Systems for three years, but have never been hospitalized for mental illness.
Flanagan did not testify in her own defense, at the advice of her attorneys.
Closing arguments began around 5:00 p.m. and the jury received the case just after 7:00 p.m. When the unanimous verdict was read, Flanagan showed little physical sign of emotion, but her family seated in the court’s audience was visibly upset. She was arrested by Craighead County Sheriff Jack McCann and transported to the Arkansas Department of Corrections.