LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — One of five suspects in a 2012 triple homicide in Gonzales has pleaded guilty, avoiding a potential death sentence.

Ascension Parish's District Attorney Ricky Babin tells The Advocate 37-year-old Michael Aikens, of Prairieville, entered the plea Tuesday to three counts of first-degree murder in exchange for three life sentences.

A formal sentencing date has not been set.

Babin says the plea came as jury selection continued in Lafayette. State District Judge Alvin Turner Jr. moved the process there because of pretrial publicity in the deaths of 74-year-old Robert Irwin Marchand, 72-year-old Shirley Marchand and, his stepson, 50-year-old Douglas Dooley, of Cross Plains, Tenn.

The trio was found with their throats slashed in an apparent bid to steal gold and other coins from the Marchand's house near Gonzales.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

 

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