ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) – A 39-year-old Deville man accused of killing a companion in 2007 and stuffing his body in a box has pleaded guilty to manslaughter. But a prosecutor and the defendant’s attorney must agree to a sentence or the case will go to trial in September.
The Town Talk reports Bobby Christopher Lucas is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 10 by state District Judge Thomas Yeager. A manslaughter conviction carries a sentence of up to 40 years in prison.
Lucas originally was charged with second-degree murder of Kerry Anthony Lane, according to a 2011 grand jury indictment.
Rapides Parish Assistant District Attorney Thomas “Rocky” Willson said the September sentencing date could turn into a trial date on the murder charge if he and Lucas’ attorney, George Higgins, don’t reach a sentencing compromise.
“Right now we’re worlds apart,” Willson said.
Higgins said he’s confident both sides will reach an agreement.
“We have always thought this case was fairly defendable,” Higgins said. “We have tried to resolve the matter. … If we have to we will try this case.”
Lucas remains free on bond for now. A jury trial was to start this week, but Lucas pleaded guilty Thursday to a reduced charge of manslaughter.
Lucas was arrested in late October 2008 after a member of his family made the grisly discovery of Lane’s boxed body behind the house where Lucas and Lane lived. At the time his badly decomposed body was found, Lane had not been seen for more than a year.
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