Coats Pleads Guilty, Sentenced To 15 Years

August 29, 2005 – Posted at 5:07 p.m. CDT

LAKE CITY, AR -- One Region 8 family says they are closing the chapter in what they call a long ordeal.

As K8 news reported earlier this month, 44-year-old Judy Flanagan of Lepanto was convicted of the 2004 murder of a Caraway man, 51-year-old Dennis Coats. His widow, Beverly Coats faced charges of a Class B Felony of hindering apprehension and prosecution.

In Monday's hearing, coats pled 'unconditionally guilty' to felony charges of hindering apprehension and prosecution for giving police false statements during their investigation of her husband's death.

"I think she needs some time, a whole lot of it myself," said Dennis Coats' dad of Junior Alton Coats.

While Dennis Coats' family was pleased with the outcome of Flanagan's trial, many believe Beverly was involved in her husband's death.

"I got what I asked for, to start out with," said Coats, "The fact of it is, I think she was his final blow."

After listening to testimony, Judge Larry Boling sentenced Coats.

"If she is on parole, she would be subject to revocation. If she didn't follow those conditions, sometimes people who are on parole serve more time because they are sent back. So at this point, it's up to her and the parole boards hands," said Prosecuting Attorney Alan Copeland.

Beverly Coats was sentenced to fifteen years in the department of corrections and received a fine of $7500 dollars, but realistically, she may only serve 1/6th of that jail time.