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Stabbing suspect thinks twice about plea

A Medford suspect in the Christmas Day stabbing of his wife balked at a plea bargain Monday but agreed to reconsider the deal after a judge explained the potential consequences of going to trial.

Prosecutors and the defense attorney for Antoine Ramone Coleman had worked out an agreement in which he would receive 71/2 years in prison for attempted murder, but a 10-year sentence for felony assault would be waived.

"The deal isn't going to get better," Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Kelly Ravassipour told Coleman.

She gave Coleman until 11:30 a.m. Friday to reconsider whether he wanted to reject the plea bargain, warning him that he could face a much stiffer sentence than the 90 months offered in the plea bargain.

Ravassipour said Coleman,45, would be on trial for Measure 11 crimes, which carry mandatory minimum sentences.

Coleman is accused of stabbing his 37-year-old wife, Annette Coleman, several times at a residence in the 300 block of North Peach Street around 2:30 a.m. on Christmas Day.

She was transported to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center with life-threatening injuries, according to officials.

Coleman, who remains in the Jackson County Jail on $2 million bail, entered the courtroom and stared briefly at the victim, who was surrounded by friends and family.

His attorney, Alyssa Bartholomew, told the court, "He is declining the offer and wants to proceed with the trial."

But after Ravassipour explained the possible consequences of being convicted in a trial, Bartholomew conferred with Coleman and he agreed to reconsider and provide his answer by Friday.

Laura Cromwell, a deputy district attorney, said she was prepared to seek the maximum prison sentence of 120 months for assault and 90 months for attempted murder if Coleman opted for the trial.

She said he's admitted to the stabbing, and the evidence against him was significant.

"He went back to retrieve a second knife and finish her off," she said.

Cromwell said the victim hasn't fully recovered from the stabbing.

According to a Medford Police Department description of the crime scene on Dec. 26, 2013, "A bloody butcher knife and a broken steak knife with blood were found at the residence."

In addition, the police report stated, "Antoine Coleman admitted he used methamphetamine and went into a 'rage' and stabbed his wife."

According to the report, Coleman also said he was not defending himself at the time of the stabbing.

In 2013, Coleman was ordered by the state of Oregon to pay his wife $426 a month for each of their children. In addition, he was ordered to pay $7,242 in past child support.

Since 1996, Coleman has been convicted of two counts of manufacturing a controlled substance, manufacturing a controlled substance within 100 feet of a school, two counts of fourth-degree assault, recklessly endangering another person, second-degree criminal mischief, delivery of a controlled substance, delivery of methamphetamine, delivery of cocaine, possession of methamphetamine, possession of cocaine, attempt to commit a Class A felony and resisting arrest.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@mailtribune.com. Follow on Twitter at @reporterdm.