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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003

    MD - Edward Coffman, 4, beaten to death, Towson, 4 Aug 1972


    ...In 1972, the medical examiner ruled the cause of death was blunt-force injury but could not determine how it occurred.

    Police looked again at the case in July when they received an e-mail from Richard A. Coffman, 35, the younger brother of the victim, saying he believed his mother was responsible for Edward's death...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Mother Charged in Son's 1972 Death Towson, MD

    Mother Charged in Son's 1972 Death

    TOWSON, Md. (Nov. 19) - Thirty-two years after her 5-year-old son's death, a DeLand, Fla., woman has been arrested and charged with his murder - based in part on an e-mail from another son.

    On Friday, a Baltimore County District judge set Diane B. Coffman's bail at $25,000.

    Her attorney, Domenic Iamele, said Coffman, 57, plans to plead innocent to the charge. He told The Associated Press that after posting bail she plans to return to her home in DeLand, where she moved in 1999.

    "She's aghast," Iamele said. "She was living a normal life, and all of a sudden the police come and charge her for the murder of her child. ... This comes completely out of left field."

    Official records had listed 5-year-old Edward Coffman's death in August 1972 as "undetermined." But on July 9, Baltimore County police received an e-mail from the little boy's brother, Richard A. Coffman, who was 3 at the time, saying he believed his mother was responsible for his brother's death.

    Police spokesman Bill Toohey declined to release a copy of the e-mail. He wouldn't describe its contents, other than to say it was about the mother's character and things that had happened after the brother's death.

    "It wasn't so much what he remembered about age 3 but some other things about his past that he shared with us," Toohey told The Washington Post.

    Police declined to say where Richard Coffman, now 35, lives. Iamele described him as a "disgruntled child," saying he's been angry at his mother since he was 10 years old. The attorney hadn't seen the contents of the e-mail. "We all want to look at that e-mail," he said.

    After receiving the e-mail, officials re-examined the records. The mother told police in the original investigation that her son fell in a tub at their Woodlawn home. She put ice packs on his face and put him to bed, saying she found him dead more than 12 hours after he fell.

    The 1972 autopsy showed 17 different injuries, some of which the child had suffered earlier. Police said those injuries were inconsistent with the story the mother had given authorities. Last month, the medical examiner changed the manner of death from undetermined to homicide.

    Coffman was arrested Tuesday at her job in Orange City, Fla. where she works as a receptionist at a dentist's office, authorities said.

    Coffman's brother, Gene Kelso, who appeared at Friday's hearing, told The AP that the family was surprised by the news of the arrest. He declined to comment further. "This is all still new," he said. "I want to see what's going on."

    A former landlord, Ruth Burnham, knew the suspect and her husband, Darryl R. Coffman, for 18 months when she rented them an apartment in Baltimore County.

    "They were such sweet people," Burnham told The (Baltimore) Sun. "We had cookouts with them, ate crabs with them - now this."

    At the couple's home in DeLand, about 20 miles southwest of Daytona Beach, an Orioles towel blocked a window at their front door. No one in the home responded to attempts to contact them.

    Christine Shouse, who lives nearby, said the Coffmans often looked after their young grandson.

    "I hope everything works out for her," she said, "because they take such good care of that grandbaby."



  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    At the beach
    On Monday in a Baltimore court, Coffman, 58, entered an Alford plea to manslaughter, which is an understanding the state has enough evidence to convict without admitting guilt. She received a suspended five-year sentence and five years unsupervised probation. . . . But the prosecutor still thinks Coffman committed the crime.
    "She knows she killed him and she will have to live with that knowledge the rest of her life," Hazlett said.
    bbm http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/...ousness-deland
    Happened to run across this thread and am just following up with her sentence from 2005.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    So basically she was put out for a year or so while she dealt with the legal battle and that is the extent of her punishment for taking the life of a child. Sad


  5. #5
    Wow! I live about 10 minutes from there and this is the first I've heard about it!

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