607-274-5461 | 320 North Tioga Street, Ithaca NY 14850
|June 16, 2010
PRESS RELEASE / FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
District Attorney Gwen Wilkinson announced today that Blazej J. Kot, 25, formerly of 921 Taughannock Blvd., received the maximum sentence - 25 years to life - in connection with the murder of his wife, Dr. Caroline Coffey.
On April 20th, Kot was convicted in Tompkins County Court on one count of Second Degree Murder, one count of Arson, and one count of Tampering with Physical Evidence. Jurors deliberated approximately seven hours before reaching a verdict after three weeks of testimony.
Mr. Kot was convicted of killing his wife, Dr. Caroline Coffey, on a jogging trail near their home on June 3, 2009. He subsequently set fire to their apartment, and was apprehended by police following a chase after a State Park Police officer observed Kot with dried blood on his arms in his car in a Taughannock State Park parking lot. During the chase Kot crashed his car into trees on Halseyville Road after cutting his own throat.
Michael Coffey, father of Caroline, spoke at sentencing. He described the pain and suffering the family has endured as a result of the murder, and asked for the maximum sentence. Before he began his statement he placed a dark green urn on the table and told the court that it contained the remains of his daughter.
In addition to the sentence imposed for murder, Mr. Kot received sentences of one year each for Third Degree Arson and for Tampering with Physical Evidence. Those sentences will run concurrently with the murder sentence.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Andrew McElwee. Mr. Kot was represented by Ithaca attorney Joseph Joch. Judge John C. Rowley presided.
The New York State Police conducted the investigation with assistance from the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office, the Ithaca Fire Department, New York State Park Police, Ithaca Police Department, and Cornell University Police.