LAFAYETTE — A 15th Judicial District Judge sentenced Louis Joseph George to life in prison Thursday in an attack that left a woman lingering in a 12-year coma until her death in 2001.

A jury convicted George, 49, of second-degree murder in the killing of Michelle Steven, who was found unconscious in her Lafayette home on the morning of April 1, 1989. Steven was 35 at the time of her death.

During the trial, Prosecutor Keith Stutes said George beat Steven and strangled her during a sexual attack.

George was dating Steven’s sister, Debra Steven Anderson, at the time.

The Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested George years later after DNA testing in the cold case matched George’s DNA to a blood sample found on Michelle Steven’s pants.

Judge Edward D. Rubin handed down George’s sentence.

Hazardous waste taken at Cajun Field

LAFAYETTE — Residents may dispose of paint, chemicals, electronics and other potentially hazardous household trash from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Cajun Field parking lot as part of Lafayette city-parish government’s Household Chemical Day, a news release says.

Items will be accepted only from residents of the city of Lafayette or unincorporated areas of the parish.


75th Rice Festival entertaining Crowley

CROWLEY — The 75th edition of Louisiana’s International Rice Festival kicked off Thursday night in Crowley with performances by Nik L. Beer, Chris Himel and Outband.

The official opening is set for 9 a.m. Friday when Mayor Greg Jones, Rice Festival President J.C. Webb and 2010 International Rice Festival Queen Andre Lyons welcome the crowds.