The trial of a Palmyra man charged with murder in connection with the bludgeoning death of another man in Detroit last summer will proceed as scheduled after lawyers this week failed to reach agreement on a plea deal.

Jason C. Cote, 22, along with his lawyers and state prosecutors, met in a settlement conference with a judge in Augusta on Tuesday. Cote faces 25 years to life in prison for the July 17 murder of Ricky B. Cole inside Cole’s mobile home in Detroit.

Options during Tuesday’s conference included working out an agreement to a plea, either to murder with a particular sentence, or manslaughter with a particular sentence, defense attorney John Alsop said before the meeting.

“Our settlement conference was not successful,” Alsop said Friday. He said he could not discuss any details of the meeting, saying only he was disappointed.

Deputy Attorney General William Stokes said a resolution was not agreed upon, so a trial in the case is set to begin May 19.

Cote is charged with the intentional, knowing or depraved indifference murder in Cole’s bludgeoning death. Cote is alleged to have beaten Cole, 47, with a pipe in a mobile home Cole rented on Main Street in Detroit.


Detectives with the Maine State Police Major Crimes Unit found Cole dead in the blood-spattered mobile home.

Cole had a fractured skull, extensive blood loss and deep internal injuries, according to the autopsy report. The state medical examiner’s office concluded that Cole died from blunt force trauma to the head and neck.

Cote entered a plea of not guilty at his arraignment Sept. 13. He remains held without bail at the Somerset County Jail in East Madison.

Police said in court documents that Cote already was high on drugs when he arrived at Cole’s home. A day earlier, Cote snorted methadone and Xanax at the friend’s home on Dogtown Road in Palmyra, according to the court affidavit. He later was dropped off at Cole’s residence, allegedly to get more drugs. Cole was found hours later dead from blunt force trauma to the head and neck.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367 [email protected] Twitter: @Doug_Harlow

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