DA announces guilty plea and sentencing in 1997 homicide

DA-BJHLOGOWHT

Natchitoches – District Attorney Billy Joe Harrington announced Nov. 14, the manslaughter guilty plea and sentencing of Princess LaCaze of Natchez.

LaCaze was scheduled to stand trial in the 10th Judicial District Court but instead pleaded guilty to manslaughter prior to trial. District Judge Desiree Dyess sentenced LaCaze to an agreed upon term of 17 years in prison and ordered her sentence to begin immediately. LaCaze was remanded to the custody of the Louisiana Department of Corrections.

The victim’s son, William Sanders, was present in the courtroom along with other family members during the guilty plea. “We are glad that she has finally admitted her guilt and responsibility in the murder of my father. We are comforted that this case is over and we can move on with our lives,” said Sanders.

The case dates back 20 years in which LaCaze was originally convicted of 2nd degree murder in connection to the 1997 death of her husband, Michael LaCaze. The victim was shot to death by Meryland Robinson, whom defendant enlisted the help of and directed Robinson to commit the homicide. The defendant was having an extramarital relationship with Robinson at the time.

After numerous appeals by the defendant to the Louisiana 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal, Louisiana Supreme Court and federal courts, the case was reversed in 2011 by the United States 5th Circuit Court of Appeals who remanded the case for a re-trial.

Harrington stated that after meetings and input from the victim’s family, the State was able to obtain this conviction whereby the defendant admitted her involvement and guilt and was returned to Department of Corrections custody.

 

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