In Murder From A “Horror Story” Walker Man, Once Convicted of Murder, Signs Contract for Manslaughter | Courts

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A year after his non-unanimous murder conviction and life sentence in stabbing and strangling his convicted girlfriend’s assailant in 2015 were dismissed, a Walker man pleaded guilty to homicide on Monday involuntary and obstruction of justice in exchange for a sentence of 42 years in prison.

Jace Crehan, 27, will be honored for the six years he has already spent behind bars in what a previous judge called the vigilante-style murder of Robert Noce Jr.

2015 vigilante-style murder, Walker man convicted by non-unanimous jury gets retrial

Brittany Monk, 24, pleaded guilty to manslaughter shortly before Crehan’s second degree murder trial in 2017 and was sentenced to 35 years in prison. It requests that this term be reconsidered. The maximum penalty for manslaughter is 40 years.

Monk was 17 months and seven months pregnant with Crehan’s child when she and Crehan barged into Noce’s Zachary trailer on the night of July 4, 2015, while he was sleeping. Noce was beaten, stabbed and strangled, then stuffed into a 55 gallon plastic barrel that was inside the trailer.

The current judge handling the case has said Noce’s murder was “one of the most heinous crimes” he has had to deal with in his brief three years on the 19th bench of the District Judicial Court.

“It’s an absolute horror story,” District Judge Fred Crifasi said on Monday, shortly before sentencing Crehan.

Crifasi sentenced Crehan to consecutive 35 years for manslaughter and seven years for obstructing justice, a charge prosecutors filed earlier Monday.

Woman Walker’s 35-year prison sentence for gruesome murder of convicted attacker upheld

Prosecutor Darwin Miller told the judge that Noce, 47, was nearly beheaded. A belt was found around his neck, and his wrists and ankles were tied with ties, he said. Crehan and Monk also flooded Noce’s trailer.

Noce, who was a former boyfriend of Monk’s mother and raised Monk for about a decade after her mother abandoned her, had been put on probation less than two weeks before her death after pleading “without question” for assaulting Monk as a child.

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Noce denied abusing Monk.

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Crehan got a new trial last summer, months after the U.S. Supreme Court barred divided jury verdicts. A jury in East Baton Rouge Parish had voted 11-1 to convict him of second degree murder, carrying a life sentence.

Crehan tried to plead guilty to manslaughter before his trial, but prosecutors rejected him.

East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore III said Crehan’s plea and acceptance of responsibility adequately resolved the case.

“This defendant offered to accept responsibility and made an offer to the state that was acceptable. I think the plea, the factual basis and the sentence are appropriate given the circumstances at this point,” Moore said. “The factual basis and the sentence encompass not only the murder but also the obstruction of justice committed by these two accused.”

One of Crehan’s lawyers, Franz Borghardt, said in a statement that Crehan will now move on in his life. Carson Marcantel also represents Crehan.

“Sometimes justice exists in the gray,” Borghardt said. “From the outset of this matter, we have sought a resolution that balances fairness and justice. We have achieved that resolution.”

Crehan told detectives that the knife he used to stab Noce was recovered from Noce’s kitchen by Monk, under Crehan’s direction. Crehan then led authorities to a holding pond in Livingston Parish, where the knife was recovered by divers.

Monk testified at Crehan’s trial that she sprayed Noce in the face with a man’s body spray while Crehan wrestled with him. She denied stabbing Noce, but admitted hitting him 10 to 15 times while Crehan held him down.


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