St. Landry Parish man gets 5 years in death of girlfriend

OPELOUSAS, La. (AP) – A St. Landry Parish man convicted in February of negligent homicide in the death of his girlfriend has been sentenced to five years at hard labor.

The Advocate reports Judge Gerard Caswell handed down the sentence Thursday for36-year-old Kurt Dwayne Miller, who was originally indicted on second-degree murder in the 2009 death of Laura Coates.

The prosecution had argued that the numerous bruises on Coates’ body at the time of her death indicated she was beaten severely by Miller.

The defense had argued that Coates was experiencing a drug overdose when Miller found her in their Port Barre home and the bruises were due to his slapping her in an unsuccessful attempt to revive her.

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