Langlais held on high bail in death of drummer

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A court officer escorts Eric Langlais to a Strafford County Sheriff's Deputy after his arraignment on manslaughter and riot charges on Tuesday at Strafford County Superior Court in Dover. (Lebanon Voice photo)

DOVER, N.H. - Wearing a regulation brown jail jumpsuit and arm and leg shackles, a somber Eric Langlais cried softly while pleading not guilty during his arraignment on Tuesday in the death of Bang N Jane drummer Jim Unfonak.

Langlais, 41, of 31 Lincoln Lane, Barnstead, is alleged to have punched Unfonak in the head early on Sunday, Jan. 31, in the parking lot of Gary's Sports Bar in Rochester, his "knockout" punch by Langlais' own admission, according to a police affidavit.

Assistant County Attorney Tim Sullivan in arguing for a continuance of Langlais' high bail, told Judge Peter Fauver that Langlais had been thrown out of Cara Irish Pub in Dover for trying to pick a fight there earlier in the day before traveling to Gary's Sports Bar in Rochester.

Sullivan also noted text messages sent between Langlais and his associates that they were going to get Unfonak as he left Gary's Sports Bar.

Others in the group told bouncers they wanted a "piece" of Unfonak, according to a police affidavit.
Sullivan also told the court that Langlais had been convicted and sentenced for second degree assault for repeatedly throwing a four-month-old baby in 2004.

A public defender urged the court to consider personal recognizance or bond saying Langlais had a steady job, had not been in trouble for many years and could not afford any high bail, but in the end, Fauver ordered his bail continued at $25,000 cash.

Also charged in the incident are two local women, Mandy Patch, 37, of Old Milton Road, Rochester; and Laurie Henner, 41, of Whitebirch Lane in Farmington; and another man, Forrest Rollins, 42, of Brook St. Rochester.

Patch was charged with one count of simple assault, a Class A misdemeanor and felony riot. She was released on $10,000 personal recognizance bail and is scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 26 in Strafford County Superior Court.

Henner was charged with one count of felony riot and released on $10,000 presonal recognizance. She is also scheduled for arraignment Feb. 26.

Rochester Police Capt. Gary Boudreau said on Saturday that the two women were charged with felony riot for allegedly being part of a group looking to cause trouble and pick a fight.

Patch's simple assault charge was for allegedly hitting a female friend of Unfonak's at the scene.

Rollins was arrested Friday and charged with simple assault in connection with an altercation inside Gary's Sports Bar the night Unfonak was fatally injured. The nature of that altercation and whom it involved was not released on Tuesday. He was booked and released on personal recognizance pending an arraignment March 21 at Rochester District Court.

Langlais could face up to 30 years in prison for manslaughter, while the two women could face up to seven years on the riot charges. Meanwhile, Rollins faces up to a year in jail.

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