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Man sentenced to 40 years in 1990 Ascension Parish murder case

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GONZALES - A man who pleaded guilty to the rape, kidnapping and murder of his aunt in 1990 was sentenced to 40 years on a kidnapping charge in Ascension Parish Monday morning.

Kenneth Lavigne was sentenced back in January to 21 years for the murder. Lavigne will serve 61 years altogether for his role in Jeanie Lavigne's death.

"She was happy, it's hard" Ryan Lavigne, the victim's son said.

Ryan was 11-years old when his mom was brutally murdered by her nephew. For decades, Kenneth lived his life without ever letting on to the fact that he killed Jeanie.

"Kenneth Lavigne was the one changing the locks on the home at the time," Prosecutor Robin O'Bannon said. "Now that they realize he was the one who committed the murder, it's really unsettling for them to know the murderer was the one trying to make them secure. It's very ironic isn't it."

Ascension Parish deputies were able to arrest the accused, Kenneth Lavigne, with the help of DNA evidence more than two decades after the crime was committed. Lavigne was taken into custody in March of 2013.

Back in 2013, detectives and Louisiana State Police were able to reopen several cold cases. Kenneth Lavigne had been ruled out as a suspect in the death of Jeannie Lavigne back in 1990, but authorities were allowed to question him again.

During the second investigation in 2013, the man refused to provide a DNA sample, but law enforcement was able to obtain one anyway. Lavigne fled to Mississippi, but he was arrested just days later.

Lavigne confessed to the murder he committed 25 years ago in an Ascension Parish courthouse back in January. He pleaded guilty to charges of manslaughter and second degree kidnapping charges.The 40 year sentence will run consecutive to the 21 years he was already sentenced to for manslaughter.

In court, Judge Jessie Leblanc called Kenneth Lavigne a cold blooded killer and said he deserved to spend the rest of his life in prison.


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