Lafayette man accepts plea deal in 2010 beating death of UL-Lafayette student _lowres

Wayland Guillory

One of two men scheduled to stand trial this year in the October 2010 beating death of a Lafayette college student pleaded guilty to manslaughter this past week.

The plea deal requires Wayland Guillory to testify against the other defendant, Ian Trahan.

Guillory, of Lafayette, and Trahan, of Youngsville, were both charged with second-degree murder in the death of University of Louisiana at Lafayette student Kenneth Donnelly Jr. Donnelly, 20, was beaten to death in an apartment at 305 McKinley St., among a row of bars known as The Strip.

Guillory and Trahan also were charged with attempted second-degree murder in the beating of UL-Lafayette student Rufus Fells, who was Donnelly’s roommate. Fells survived the attack but suffered serious injuries.

Guillory pleaded guilty Thursday before Judge Marilyn Castle, who sentenced the 27-year-old to 10 years in prison at hard labor. Castle gave Guillory credit for the years he’s been behind bars awaiting trial.

Castle also recommended that Guillory be placed in a substance abuse program while he’s incarcerated. Guillory’s court-appointed attorney, Valex Amos Jr., did not return a message left with his office Friday afternoon.

In pleading down to manslaughter, which carries a prison term of up to 40 years, Guillory skipped possible life in prison without parole, which is the automatic sentence in Louisiana for adults convicted of second-degree murder.

Guillory had been scheduled for trial March 9.

Trahan, 25, is scheduled for trial May 4 on the murder and attempted murder charges. Guillory is expected to testify.

“Wayland agrees that he will personally provide complete and truthful information regarding the events on October 28, 2010, for which he is charged,” reads the plea agreement that Guillory signed Thursday.

The agreement also stipulates that if Guillory lies or doesn’t provide useful information in Trahan’s trial, Guillory’s 10-year sentence will be thrown out, and he’ll be sentenced to 15 years at hard labor, according to the agreement.

According to the arrest affidavit, Trahan called Fells from a cellphone to buy marijuana that Oct. 28 morning. It was the last call to Fells’ phone before the attack.

Fells and Donnelly were attacked by one or more people who wielded a metal object in the attack, authorities have said. Fells survived the attack but suffered facial fractures and a severe cut to his ear, an injury that left him with permanent hearing loss.