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Lafayette man accused in estranged wife's kidnapping takes plea deal

Fight over district’s racial makeup back at appeals court
Posted at 7:38 PM, Jul 26, 2021

A Lafayette businessman accused in the kidnapping of his estranged wife in 2017 accepted a plea deal during a trial held this week, our media partners at The Advocate report.

Lawrence Handley allegedly orchestrated the kidnapping of his estranged wife, Schanda Handley, which later involved the death of two suspected hired kidnappers who drowned while trying to escape police. Handley, 53, was located and arrested in August 2017 at a motel in Slidell.

He was originally indicted on counts of conspiracy to commit second-degree murder, conspiracy to commit aggravated kidnapping, attempted second-degree kidnapping, second-degree kidnapping, and violation of a protective order. The 15th Judicial District Attorney's Office agreed on Monday to waive the conspiracy charges and the protective order charge and reduce the aggravated kidnapping charge to second-degree kidnapping in exchange for Handley's guilty plea.

Both second-degree kidnapping charges will carry a possible 15-35 year sentence, while the attempted second-degree kidnapping charge will carry a maximum sentence of 20 years.

Following a pre-sentencing investigation, Handley will have a sentencing hearing.

Read more from The Advocate.

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