Woman charged in drummer's death set to take plea deal

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Mandy Patch (Rochester Police photo)

DOVER, N.H. - One of the women charged along with a Barnstead man in the death of Bang N Jane drummer Jim Unfonak has agreed to a plea deal.

Mandy Patch, 37, of Old Milton Road, Rochester, who was indicted on a felony riot charge last month, is expected to officially accept the plea deal in 30-45 days, Assistant County Attorney Tim Sullivan said today, noting no further information about the agreement could be discussed.

Eric Langlais, who is alleged to have delivered the fatal blow that killed Unfonak, was also indicted last month, on manslaughter and riot charges. His next hearing is in June.

Langlais, 41, of 31 Lincoln Lane, 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.

Beside the felony riot charge which can draw a seven-year prison term, Patch also faces a misdemeanor assault charge for allegedly hitting a woman earlier in the evening well before the final fatal confrontation outside. The assault charge could result in up to a year in jail.

Meanwhile, the other local woman charged with felony riot, Laurie Henner, 41, of Whitebirch Lane, Farmington, has not accepted any deal offer yet, though one has been offered, Sullivan said. A dispositional hearing for Henner is set for next week.

Henner and Patch were both indicted on riot charges for allegedly "assembling" with Langlais outside Gary's Sports Bar and having the same purpose when they assembled "of engaging in tumultuous or violent conduct, and in the course of and as a result of the conduct James Unfonak suffered physical injury."

Unfonak suffered the fatal blow while attempting to get into a car and leave the tavern after earlier having had an altercation with Langlais inside the bar.

According to a police affidavit, video provided by the owner of the sports bar shows Patch, Henner and Langlais being escorted from the bar, but they appear to have waited outside in the parking lot for Unfonak to leave.

Then around 1:32 a.m., as bar staff help Unfonak to the vehicle, "The video shows that Eric then hits James on the left side of his body. James takes a few steps back while putting both of his hands up in what appears to be a defensive position. The suspect is then seen punching James once on the left side of his face," the affidavit states.

After Unfonak falls to the ground, Patch could be seen in the video clapping and jumping, the affidavit stated.

Unfonak was transported to Maine Med where he was taken off life support the next day.

Langlais remains at Strafford County Jail on $25,000 cash bail, while Patch and Henner are free on personal recognizance.

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