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Louisiana millionaire pleads guilty in wife's kidnapping

Photo courtesy of MGN

A Louisiana millionaire businessman has pleaded guilty to having his estranged wife kidnapped in a scheme that ended when the suspected kidnappers drowned while trying to flee from an officer.

Posted: Jul 27, 2021 3:37 PM
Updated: Jul 27, 2021 4:15 PM

LAFAYETTE, La. — District Attorney DOn Landry confirmed to News15 that a Louisiana millionaire businessman has pleaded guilty to having his estranged wife kidnapped in a scheme that ended when the suspected kidnappers drowned while trying to flee from an officer.

Lawrence Handley hired Sylvester Bracey and Arsenio Haynes, both from Jackson, Mississippi, to kidnap Handley’s estranged wife from her Lafayette house.

Lawrence Michael Handley pleaded guilty Monday evening to kidnapping and attempted kidnapping.

“The plea resolves the case without the victims having to relive their ordeal, and the State looks forward to presenting additional evidence at the sentencing hearing,” said prosecutor Alan Haney.

District Judge Scott Privat ordered a pre-sentence investigation and will schedule a sentencing hearing once that is received. Haney stated that the potential sentencing range is 15-35 years at hard labor, and that the victim was pleased with the outcome.

 Handley has been jailed since August 2017, when he was arrested on charges accusing him of hiring two Mississippi men to kidnap his wife from their home in Lafayette, Louisiana.

The woman was found alive when in a van abandoned by the fleeing suspects.

The Associated Press contributed to this post

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