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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

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Natchitoches ex-cop gets life for killing Many man, 24

Natchitoches ex-cop gets life for killing Many man, 24

MANY, La. (AP) — A former Natchitoches police officer has been convicted of killing a 24-year-old Many (MAN-ee) resident, and has accepted life in prison rather than risk execution.

Robert Barthelemy waived all appeals and agreed never to ask any court to reduce his sentence in the death of Tony Procell, District Attorney Don Burkett told KTBS-TV.

He said Procell's family agreed, avoiding long appeals. Burkett noted that another Sabine Parish inmate on death row is still appealing the case more than 20 years later.

"It would never be over for them," he said.

Barthelemy and Procell had served in the same National Guard battalion in Iraq during Barthelemy's second tour there.

Defense attorney Richard Goorley of Shreveport argued that Barthelemy killed Procell because he had post-traumatic stress disorder and thought Procell had made Barthelemy's estranged wife pregnant, KSLA-TV reported. He described Barthelemy as a soldier broken by war and tormented by memories of combat.

Jurors convicted Barthelemy after two hours of deliberation Thursday and heard victim impact statements Friday. Barthelemy agreed to the sentence on Saturday, ending the trial at six days.

Barthelemy initially pleaded not guilty, then changed his plea to not guilty by reason of insanity.

Goorley called the life sentence a "good result," since the only other possible sentence was death.

The jury was chosen in St. Landry Parish after a judge decided that pretrial reports had made it too difficult to find an unbiased jury in Sabine Parish.

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