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Mar 20, 2013 8:39 AM by AP

30 years for 5 killings or throw out plea deal?

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Attorneys for a New Orleans man who has pleaded guilty in five killings say a federal judge should accept a 30-year sentence because the prosecution's case is riddled with false confessions and lack of hard evidence.

U.S. District Judge Sarah Vance is scheduled Wednesday to sentence 27-year-old Steven Earl Hardrick. Vance has described the request for her to approve the plea agreement as "extremely difficult if not repellent."

Hardrick pleaded guilty in December to five of the 17 counts against him but could withdraw the plea if he gets more than 30 years. Four of the charges cover all five killings, including that of an off-duty police officer during a home invasion.

A memorandum filed Sunday for Hardrick says it's the best deal for prosecutors as well as for him.




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