Man sentenced to life in prison for murder of Livingston Parish couple
LIVINGSTON - A man who a Livingston Parish jury convicted as guilty of murdering a local middle-aged couple has been sentenced to life in prison.
On May 20, 48-year-old Michael Collins was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Eugene Gurley, Jr. and Patricia Gurley, and on Monday Collins appeared before Judge Jeffery S. Johnson for sentencing.
Judge Johnson ordered Collins to serve life at hard labor without the benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence on each count and ordered those counts to run consecutively.
Prior to imposing the sentence, over a dozen family members sat in the courtroom as Assistant District Attorney Kurt Wall read a victim impact statement at the request of the victims’ family.
In the statement, the Gurley family stated that while Collins could be labeled a monster, a more appropriate term to describe his assault on the couple would be “cowardly.” The statement also acknowledged that his actions left a never-to-be filled void in the family’s life.
After the victim impact statement, Judge Johnson addressed Collins as he stood with his defense counsel, saying, “Mr. Collins, I have been doing this for 25 years. I have seen some God-awful things in that 25 years, not just as an attorney, but 25 years in criminal law. Nothing comes to mind that is more God-awful than what you did that day. Fortunately for the Gurley family, your rage is not the final chapter of their legacy."
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