For Kelsey Mountain, the drumbeat of love stays strong

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Jim Unfonak at the drums with Bang N Jane; inset with Kelsey Mountain (Courtesy photos)

ROCHESTER - Hardly a day goes by without Kelsey Mountain putting something on her Facebook Page about the love of her life, Jim Unfonak, the late drummer of Bang N Jane who died Feb. 1, 2016, after being punched in the head the night before in the parking lot of a Rochester tavern.

Eric Langlais was arrested a year ago today, but after a January trial date was postponed, he is not expected to face a jury for at least another four months.

To Mountain, it seems as swiftly as her longtime boyfriend was ripped from her, justice for the man alleged in his death travels at a snail's pace.

"I just want the trial to be over," a tearful Mountain said on Wednesday. "I hope he takes the plea, but I'd like to see him get more time."

Langlais, 41, of Barnstead, is charged with manslaughter for allegedly causing Unfonak's death and faces up to 30 years in prison, however, Mountain said she'd heard the plea deal he walked away from was for just 12 years.

A recent post by Kelsey Mountain remembering Jim. (Facebook image)

"If he gets 12 years, you know he won't serve it all," Mountain said. "If he gets 12 I'd like to see him serve all 12. Jim probably had another 25 years ahead of him, so I'd like to see him get that. Certainly if he makes us go to trial I hope he gets more than 12.

"I just want to know what he's (Langlais) going to do, but I would hope he would take the plea deal, it's the uncertainty that's the hardest."

Mountain added that having to go through the whole horrible night in such vivid detail as a trial would bring out would be extremely hard.

Assistant County Attorney Tim Sullivan, the prosecutor in the case, has said he cannot release any details of the plea deal offered by the state. And Langlais could still decide to accept a plea deal if he wanted to prior to trial.

Unfonak, 44, of Rochester, called the heart and soul of Bang N Jane by band frontman Mike Frampton, had been in a relationship with Mountain for many years.

"It would have been 12 years this April," she said. "It's just as hard as a year ago. I miss him and love him. It's heartbreaking that this happened. He was such a good person, we miss him so much."

Mountain said it's been a rough year, getting through his birthday in November, Thanksgiving, Christmas, not to mention the one-year anniversary of his passing earlier this month, not to mention Valentine's Day.

She said she still remembers that horrible night like it was yesterday.

"I had come back (to Gary's Sports Bar) and a friend was driving and I went in and went to the bathroom and came out and said 'Do you want to leave or stay here? and he said, 'I want to go home.'"

But as Unfonak approached the back of the car to get in, video surveillance shows Langlais coming out of nowhere and hitting Unfonak on the left side of his body, according to a police affidavit obtained by The Lebanon Voice.

When Langlais hits him, Unfonak "takes a few steps back while putting both of his hands up in what appears to be a defensive position," the affidavit notes. "The suspect is then seen punching James once on the left side of his face. James is seen immediately falling to the ground and then Eric is being pulled away from James by other people."

Unfonak was rushed to Maine Medical Center where hours later he was declared brain dead and taken off life support the following day.

"I still miss him and still love him," Mountain choked on Wednesday. "I just don't want him to be forgotten."

On Saturday her wish came true in a way as she posted on her Facebook Page she'd gotten a lovely message from the organ bank, the recipient of her true love's organs. It is a framed picture of a butterfly and reads, "Plant this butterfly in your garden and wildflowers will blossom year after year in memory of your loved one."

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