Sarah Coit Murder: Raul Barrera, former NYC publicist, pleads guilty to stabbing girlfriend

Sarah Coit
Contributed Photo

(CBS) NEW YORK- Raul Barrera, a 34-year-old publicist, plead guilty to murdering his girlfriend Sarah Coit, a 23-year-old former Hunter College student, during a fight last year where Barrera nearly decapitated Coit in their Manhattan apartment, the New York Daily News reports.

PICTURES: NYC publicist pleads guilty to killing his girlfriend

The former Propaganda NY and Coleman Entertainment group publicist stabbed Coit 24 times, cut her face repeatedly, and sliced Coit across the mouth and jaw with such force that the tip of the blade broke. The blow that ultimately killed the 23-year-old blonde was a stab to the left side of her back, leaving a "gaping stab wound to the left side of the torso from which internal organs were protruding," court records show.

Following the attack, Barrera changed clothes and fled to Penn Station. On his way, he called his father who then persuaded him to turn himself in. Barrera had been arrested once before.

Friends of Coit told the Daily News that she had finally decided to leave the abusive relationship and was moving out of Barrera's apartment days before her grisly murder.

"He didn't want her to leave and he didn't want her to be beautiful for anyone else. It was pure anger," a source told the Daily News.

Neighbors once called the police after one of their heated fights grew so loud that her blood curdling cries woke them, witnesses told the paper.

Coit was the only daughter of Lynde Coit, a prominent financial adviser and his wife, Anne Taylor. She was working in sales at Lacoste and studying for a career in marketing and advertising, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Barrera's trial was set to start in three days, and the plea deal did not specify a sentence length. His lawyer will argue for the minimum sentence of 15 years at a hearing on Friday.