Robert Coffin receives maximum sentence for Thomas Shepherd's murder

The Rome man who was convicted of shooting another Rome man to death last summer has been sentenced to prison time.

Posted: May. 14, 2018 6:24 PM

The Rome man who was convicted of shooting another Rome man to death last summer has been sentenced to a total of 40 years in state prison.

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In Oneida County Court on Monday, Robert Coffin was sentenced to the maximum sentence of 40 years to life for the murder of 25-year-old Thomas Shepherd on Aug. 19, 2017.

Oneida County Court Judge Robert Bauer sentenced Coffin to 25 years for the 2nd degree murder conviction and 15 years for the criminal possession of a weapon charge and since Bauer ruled they be served consecutively, Coffin will not be eligible for parole until he serves at least 40 years.

Coffin shot Shepherd in the chin and then walked four steps to Shepherd and shot him a second time, this time in the back of the head.  It all unfolded following an altercation outside Sammy G’s bar in Rome, after Coffin went to the bar to see his ex-girlfriend.

Coffin then then evaded authorities for nearly two weeks before being captured in Las Vegas, Nevada on Sept. 1.

During Coffin’s trial, he testified that he was drunk that night and had also taken the methamphetamine known as Molly, and he and Shepherd got into a fight near Coffin’s car in the parking lot. Others who testified said the altercation began when Coffin confronted his ex-girlfriend at the bar, and Shepherd stepped in to defend her.

Shepherd's mother, Linda Shepherd read a victim impact statement before Bauer imposed sentence and spoke directly to Coffin at one point, saying the following, "How do you not fired that last shot? Thomas would still be alive today. Again you have no respect for another man’s life. I truly hope every day that you are behind bars that you suffer as I am."

After the sentencing was over, Shepherd's father, Thomas Shepherd Sr., told News Channel 2 that even the maximum sentence wasn't enough prison time for the man who took his only son's life, "40 years will never be enough, but it's all they could do and they did the most that they could and that is satisfying in that respect.  And that there is some closure there."

In March, Coffin was convicted by a jury on charges of second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  The shooting was caught on a surveillance camera.  The jury deliberated for just over an hour before delivering the guilty verdict.

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