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Updated: 12/17/2009 - 4:05 AM



Riverhead couple's quarrel turns fatal
Woman arrested for stabbing beau
  15 comments below

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO
Riverhead police secure the homicide scene Tuesday afternoon. The victim, James Wheeler, was stabbed in his chest before collapsing on a stretch of lawn behind the East Main Street building in which he was attacked by his girlfriend, police said.
A fight between a man and his girlfriend in her Riverhead apartment ended tragically Tuesday when the woman grabbed a kitchen knife and plunged it into her lover's chest, Suffolk Police said.

Kianna Coach, 21, is charged with manslaughter in the death of 25-year-old James Wheeler, who managed to stumble outside after the stabbing before collapsing on a patch of lawn. Ms. Coach's baby son was in the apartment at the time of the incident but was unharmed, investigators said.

Shortly after noon, cops and emergency crews found Mr. Wheeler, who lived on Flanders Road in Flanders, lying on the ground behind the apartment building at the River Pointe complex on East Main Street.

"They worked on him furiously," said one neighbor who did not want her name printed. "I thought they were going to break his ribs trying to resuscitate him."

Mr. Wheeler died later at Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead.

Detectives quickly zeroed in on Ms. Coach, who during the argument fled to a neighbor's apartment before returning and stabbing Mr. Wheeler in the chest, police said. Investigators would not say where she got the knife.

"Then, [Mr. Wheeler] falls out the back door of the apartment and collapses about 80 feet away," said Detective Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick, commanding officer of the Suffolk Police homicide squad.

Ms. Coach pleaded not guilty to first-degree manslaughter Wednesday in Town Justice Court. At the arraignment, her lawyer, Susan Menu, said she was physically abused by Mr. Wheeler.

The attorney showed Justice Allen Smith bruises on her client's leg and said that she had other bruises on her neck.

Relatives of Mr. Wheeler could not be immediately reached for comment.

After Ms. Coach was led out of the courtroom in a yellow jumpsuit, she could be heard sobbing hysterically.

"Just pray for her," her mother, Carol Jackson, said afterward.

Ms. Jackson said that her daughter was in an "abusive relationship" with Mr. Wheeler for just over three years, but feared she might become homeless with her 13-month-old son if she left him.

Her father, George Trent Sr., said she called him last week saying she was leaving Mr. Wheeler, who was known as "Jim Boy."

"I know she didn't mean to kill him," Mr. Trent said.

Ms. Jackson siad her daughter didn't learn until 4 p.m. Tuesday that Mr. Wheeler died, at which point she collapsed in the police station and had to be taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center for treatment.

tgannon@timesreview.com



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15 comments found

just found out about this : 6/29/2012
Same chick tried to kill me years before in my sleep.




To my #1 : 6/19/2012
Now this goes out to all the ones who got hate 4 my wife,stop being in denial, you cant judge a book by its cover, yea maybe jim boy was a good guy I doubt it, ive heard bout ppl like him who show one side in public an can b a monster bhind closed doors, I dnt judge my girl for her crime she got out because in the end it could have been the other way around. My love goes out to you yanna ,i cant wait 4 u to come home xoxoxo




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zaejWvBvJvKTiyH : 2/23/2012
Thanks Ricki! I can't blieeve it's gone so fast!!! And I'm talking about you too. You are married with a baby! How did that happen?! But you all are just beautiful. Thanks for the comment!




WPZuZPtsCo : 2/17/2012
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QsDjzmwhMJOJMZiUGeD : 2/16/2012
Call me wind beaucse I am absolutely blown away.




Lets keep it real. : 2/3/2012
I've known Kianna for many of years. Trials and tribulations turned her into a person that takes things until she can't. Anymore. Her life was hard and so was she. In five minutes or less you knew if you were on her level. So I. Feel bad for your boy but he should have known if he wasn't built like that and found someone with less drama in their life.
Kianna hold your head. You too are very missed.




: 6/24/2010
I am so sorry that kianna lost her patience or intelligence that i know she has. May god bring her and her mother carol and other family members thru this horrible experience. I just came across this event today june 24th 2010 because i kept thinking about her so dam much and decided to just google her name. This is not what i exspected to ever read about. Be strong carol,and i hope grandma elsie is doing fine




: 3/22/2010
jim boi was the MOST sweetest person...who ever knew him would say the same...he would never lay a hand on kiana...for three years he was abussed by her, physically, emotionally, and mentally...but jim boi truly cared for her and her child..like the saying goes love kills and unfortunatly it took a talented gifted young man...and if kiana truly wanted to leave she coulda left the first time she left the house...i love you jim boi we all miss you very much..




Her Lawyer : 12/23/2009
Susan Menu is a great Criminal Attorney!!!




omg : 12/13/2009
if you can't spell, don't leave a comment. riverhead
shheezzz




she needs the lord : 12/12/2009
jesus needs to come down n put hands on her she needs help and she need to rot in hell how dear she take another humans life jim boy was quiet and he stayed to himself he would give and do anything for his family and friends i don't feel that was right she hurt a lot of friends and family if it was that bad she should of left him a lone jim boy took care of her baby like it was his she put alot of pain in people hearts and to lie to the cops tops it off just tell the truth its not rigjht and MS.KIANNA COACH well NEVER EVER be forgiven from anyone for her actions i hope she gets life in prison and she didnt care for her own baby that much to take someone life now she sits in jail and someone else has to take care of her baby and she is always gonna be consider a murder im hurt upset and in pain...




that wasnt even cute : 12/12/2009
She knew what she was doin I knew jim boy basicly all my life kianna would hit n beat on him n he would just sit there and not do nothing or even walk away her mother even said it herself one day that her daughter was crazy and she gonna end up in jail one day kianna pulled a gun out on someone before and even tried stabbing her other man or should I say husband she walked n got the knife from someone else house and came back to stab jim boy come on do u really think she didn't mean it she knew what she was doin before doing it she needs 1st degree murder she doesn't need to see day light ever again that was my bestfriend more like family I grew up with him I love jim boy..




Riverhead couple's quarrel turns fata : 12/10/2009
Put her away forever, make her rot in jail and die.
She killed someone that i considered my brother and she does not deserve to live.
My brother wont be her to see me graduate now






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