NLJ Associate Publisher
When Michael Davis made his way into the crowded District courtroom on the top floor of the Weston County Courthouse shortly after 9 a.m. on Monday morning, those who attended the sentencing hearing anticipated that they were about to witness the final chapter in the trial of the man accused of killing Katy Coffee in her Newcastle home on June 3, 2011.
But after hearing arguments from attorneys for both the prosecution and defense, and the heart-felt testimony of members of Coffee’s family, District Court Judge Thomas Rumpke took a half-hour to deliberate over the plea bargain that had been submitted to the court before returning to the courtroom to inform all parties that he wasn’t satisfied with the deal.
“I am going to reject the agreement,” he announced moments after court was called back into session at approximately 10 a.m. The judge’s decision means that the accused and his attorney will now have to decide if Davis will maintain his plea of guilty to voluntary manslaughter, which could result in a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Rumpke agreed to a request from Davis’ attorney, Nick Carter, to give the defense a few days to consider their options.