Coates' defense claims co-defendant turned witness committed murder

NORWICH – The trial for the murder of David Green commenced Monday with accusations of guilt made by attorney's on both sides of the courtroom.

The prosecution claims Jeremy Coates murdered Green, but the defense is arguing the true culprit was another person arrested in the case, Melissa Crispell. She is expected to testify against her co-defendant after accepting a plea deal. At a previous evidence hearing Crispell testified she witnessed Coates kill Green by striking him in the back of the head.

Monday afternoon the murder trial began with opening statements as District Attorney Joseph McBride and Public Defender John Cameron presented very different versions of what took place on the night Green was killed. Judge Frank Revoir said the trial will likely take two weeks.

McBride said Coates killed Green, but the defense is arguing the prosecution's key witness, Crispell, was the only one whose DNA and fingerprints were in the home and on the murder weapon.

Coates, 47, was initially charged with first-degree murder, assault, and robbery on September 23, 2016. He pleaded not guilty.

Crispell, 43, was originally charged with second-degree murder, among other counts of assault and robbery, but she accepted a plea deal on May 12, 2017.

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