Co-defendant turned witness describes robbery gone wrong

NORWICH – A key witness and co-defendant in the homicide case of a slain Oxford man took to the stand Thursday as part of a plea deal and testified Jeremy Coates, who is charged with first degree murder, was the one responsible for the crime.

Melissa Crispell, a co-defendant turned witness, was previously charged with murder but pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery. She told the jury Coates was the one responsible for David Green's death.

Coates, 47, of Green, has pleaded not guilty. He was charged with first-degree murder, assault, and robbery on September 23, 2016 and has maintained his innocence.

Melissa Crispell, 43, of Oxford, was Coates girlfriend at the time of the alleged crimes, and was originally charged with second-degree murder, assault and robbery. She accepted a plea deal on May 12, 2017. Crispell is facing 15-to-25 years in state prison and will be sentenced after Coates’ trial, and after giving sworn testimony in court.

In her testimony Thursday Crispell said on September 23, 2016, she had a text conversation with Coates, and they made plans to rob Green later that night. She said during the robbery, things took an unexpected turn when Coates kicked Green, and hit him with a piece of slate.

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