Man charged with killing drummer to remain held on bailBy KIMBERLEY HAAS
Union Leader Correspondent
March 28. 2016 11:23PM
DOVER — A man charged with killing a member of a popular Rochester-area band will remain held on $25,000 cash bail, after a hearing at Strafford County Superior Court.
Eric Langlais, 41, of Barnstead, had a number of family members in court on Monday morning — all supportive of the man they say can be safely supervised in the community — despite charges that he laid in wait for James Unfonak, 44, and hit him so hard on Jan. 31 outside Gary’s Sports Bar in Rochester that he died.
Public defender Heather Ward told Judge Mark Howard that Langlais should be released into the supervision of community corrections because he is not a danger to the community. She pointed out the purpose of the hearing is not to decide whether Langlais is guilty of the crime he is charged with, but rather to see if he can be held on personal recognizance bail prior to his trial.
“We’re not here to determine whether or nor this crime occurred. We’re here to see if he can be released to the community, and if the individual and the community will remain safe,” Ward said.
Ward complained that Langlais would lose his social security disability checks if he remains behind bars. She said he uses those checks to help support his 13-year-old daughter.
Prosecutor Timothy Sullivan vehemently objected, saying Langlais is clearly a danger to the community. He served close to three years in prison for throwing a four-month-old baby across the room, after pleading guilty to second-degree assault in 2004.
Sullivan detailed the facts of the case, telling Howard Langlais was kicked out of Cara Irish Pub and Restaurant in Dover for trying to start a fight, before going to Gary’s Sports Bar on the night in question.
Two other individuals are charged in the death of Unfonak, who lived in Rochester and was the drummer for Bang N Jane. Mandy Patch, 37, of Rochester, and Laurie Henner, 41 of Farmington, are sisters who were at the bar with Langlais on the night he allegedly killed Unfonak.
Patch, Henner and Langlais were escorted from Gary’s Sports Bar, but they waited for Unfonak to leave at 1:32 a.m. After Langlais punched Unfonak on the left side of the face, and he fell to the ground, Patch could be seen clapping and jumping up and down on video obtained by Rochester police.
Patch was arrested for simple assault and felony riot. Henner was charged with felony riot.
Langlais, who is also charged with felony riot, is changed with manslaughter, for recklessly causing Unfonak’s death. If convicted, he could be sentenced up to 30 years in prison.