LAFAYETTE — A jury deliberated for about an hour Friday before returning a unanimous guilty verdict in the second-degree murder trial of Louis Joseph George, who was accused in a 1989 attack that left a woman lingering in a 12-year coma until her death in 2001.
George now faces an a mandatory life sentence in the killing of Michelle Steven, who was found unconscious in her Lafayette home on the morning of April 1, 1989.
During his closing arguments Friday, Assistant District Attorney Keith Stutes described the aftermath of that attack.
“She had abrasions and contusions all over her body and she was in a deep coma,” Stutes told jurors.
And even though she did not die until 12 years later, “the person she was, the life that she was, extinguished on April 1, 1989,” Stutes said.
The state alleged the attack was sexually motivated, that George gained access into Steven’s home on Cobb Road through a bathroom window and attempted to force Michelle Steven to have sex with him.
When she refused, George beat her and strangled her, Stutes said.
George was dating Steven’s sister, Debra Steven Anderson, at the time of the attack.
After the verdict, Anderson offered only a brief comment.
“After 20 years, the verdict was correct,” she said.
George will be sentenced Sept. 29 at 10:30 a.m. by 15th Judicial District Judge Edward D. Rubin.