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Mar 14, 2013 9:19 AM by AP

Murder suspect pleads guilty to manslaughter

COVINGTON, La. (AP) - A 36-year-old man charged with second-degree murder in connection with his girlfriend's 2012 strangulation death has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in a St. Tammany Parish courtroom. Benson Harrison O'Brien III was sentenced Wednesday to 40 years in prison.

O'Brien was accused of strangling 31-year-old Bridgette Harveston on May 7, 2012, about two months after she gave birth to their son, Liam Patrick O'Brien.

Defense attorney Buddy Spell told The Times-Picayune O'Brien pleaded guilty to killing Harveston in the heat of passion. He said both the defense team and O'Brien were comfortable with the agreement.

A spokesman for St. Tammany Parish District Attorney Walter Reed said Harveston's family supported the plea.

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Information from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.nola.com

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