Nov 10, 2010 11:46 AM by Posted by Sharlee Barriere
LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) - Lee Roy Williams, 51, pleaded guilty to four counts of first-degree murder Tuesday, hours after a Calcasieu Parish grand jury indicted him on the charges.
State District Judge Kent Savoie imposed four consecutive life sentences, a term agreed to by prosecutors and Williams' defense counsel.
Williams was accused of killing four people on Sept. 4. District Attorney John DeRosier said the victims' families agreed with the sentence.
Williams was accused of killing Crystal Dawn Fruge, 28; Kendrick Warren Lavergne, 29; Terry Lynn Banks, 19; and Jessica M. Eugene, 26, at a mobile-home park south of Lake Charles.
As part of the plea agreement, DeRosier dismissed a drug charge and said East Baton Rouge Parish prosecutors will dismiss two counts of attempted first-degree murder that accused Williams of trying to run over two people with his vehicle as he was being pursued.
DeRosier on Tuesday outlined the following slaying scenario in court:
Williams used a .380-caliber pistol to shoot Lavergne in the back of the head and shoot Banks in the head, after which he turned his attention to the two women, who were at the rear of the trailer.
Williams shot Fruge. The bullet went through her shoulder and into a wall, where it was found later by deputies.
He then confronted Eugene in the hall, where he struck her with a baseball bat. The force of the blow knocked her into a bathroom, where Williams continued to beat her with the bat and stabbed her repeatedly.
Williams returned to Fruge and used both the bat and the knife on her. After killing her, the defendant went back to the front of the trailer, where Banks had crawled to near the door.
Williams pulled the victim back, beat him with the bat and stabbed him several times.
DeRosier said all of those acts were committed with the specific intent to cause death, a requirement for first-degree murder.
Williams said he was satisfied with what DeRosier said about the slayings, although he disputed the order in which the district attorney said the killings occurred.
Victims' families have say Williams told the families he was sorry for what had happened.
"I don't know what else I can say," he told the courtroom, crowded with family members, law officers and court employees.
Banks' father told Williams during the proceedings that the state and the court had had mercy on him, "but Angola won't."
The family members and DeRosier said they didn't know for sure why Williams killed the four people.
Sheriff Tony Mancuso noted later that Banks, in a recorded interview, told detectives he had "snapped" after learning the others were going to evict him from the trailer.
"This is what happens when you combine the impact of drugs and anger," DeRosier said Tuesday. "It is compounded so much that you have incidents like this that take place and cost people lives and ruin families and just destroys their lives and leaves so many survivors who have been hurt for so many years."
DeRosier said he explored in depth with the families the possibility of calling for the death penalty and that they were comfortable with his office's sentencing recommendation.
And why would Williams plead guilty to receive four life sentences?
"I guess he doesn't like the idea of the death penalty staring him in the face," DeRosier said.