St. Landry Kidnapping, Murder Suspect Pleads Guilty
The man who kidnapped and murdered a Ville Platte woman last year will spend the rest of his life in prison.
Philip Dewoody received three consecutive life sentences after pleading guilty this morning to first-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, and aggravated rape.
The first-degree murder charge stemmed from the death of Joyce Thomas. Thomas disappeared from Ville Platte last March. State troopers found her body was found days later off I-49 between Sunset and Opelousas after Dewoody led them to it. The aggravated rape and aggravated kidnapping charges stemmed from a separate incident involving a separate victim. Dewoody was on parole when he committed the crimes.
According to St. Landry Parish District Attorney Chad Pitre, his office took the death penalty off the table in exchange for DeWoody's plea. Pitre says the victims' families supported the plea agreement.
"Finally, justice was delivered today for these two victims and their families," Pitre said in a press release. "The victims and their families have some amount of closure knowing this defendant will never see the outside of a prison and will never harm anyone again."