GONZALES — An Ascension Parish man pleaded guilty Tuesday to beating and kicking a woman last year until she was unconscious because the victim had slapped his girlfriend during an argument.
Manly Harden Gilley, 31, of Prairieville, entered the plea to attempted second-degree murder while a pool of potential jurors for his pending trial awaited selection at the Parish Courthouse Annex in Gonzales, court minutes say.
Had Gilley gone to trial in the 23rd Judicial District Court, he also would have faced an attempted second-degree murder charge. But if he were convicted at trial, he would have risked being treated at sentencing as a habitual offender for past felony convictions. Prosecutors agreed not to seek an enhanced sentence under the plea deal.
Gilley faces between 10 and 50 years in prison without the benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence.
Gilley’s girlfriend, Ashleigh Parker, who lived with him at 16231 Joe Sevario Road, pleaded guilty Jan. 12 to the reduced charge of inciting a felony. Parker, 22, was sentenced to two years in prison.
According to Gilley’s plea documents, Parker had gotten into an argument with Kimberly Roddy on March 28, 2014. The dispute turned physical when Roddy slapped Parker.
Parker called Gilley and told him what happened. Gilley responded, according to the plea document, “That’s it, I’m gonna kill that bitch!”
Gilley went home, found Roddy, grabbed her by the hair and threw her to the ground, the plea says.
Gilley admitted to punching Roddy 15 to 20 times in the face while she was on the ground and then kicking and stomping her face 25 to 30 times, the plea says.
Roddy was unconscious when Ascension Parish sheriff’s deputies arrived. Doctors put her in a medically induced coma because her brain was bleeding.
Deputies arrested Gilley and Parker on March 28, 2014, on battery counts but upped the charges to attempted second-degree murder after considering the severity of Roddy’s injuries.
Defense attorney Jeff Heggelund said the plea agreement gives Gilley the chance to present mitigating factors before his sentence.
“He’s remorseful and apologetic for what has occurred, and he has taken responsibility for his actions,” Heggelund said.
Judge Thomas Kliebert Jr. set sentencing for 9 a.m. Feb. 22 pending a pre-sentence investigation.