Murder suspect pleads guilty to manslaughter
COVINGTON - A 36-year-old man charged with second-degree murder in connection with his girlfriend's 2012 strangulation death has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in a St. Tammany Parish courtroom. Benson Harrison O'Brien III was sentenced Wednesday to 40 years in prison.
O'Brien was accused of strangling 31-year-old Bridgette Harveston on May 7, 2012, about two months after she gave birth to their son, Liam Patrick O'Brien.
Defense attorney Buddy Spell says O'Brien pleaded guilty to killing Harveston in the heat of passion. He said both the defense team and O'Brien were comfortable with the agreement.
A spokesman for St. Tammany Parish District Attorney Walter Reed said Harveston's family supported the plea.