Sentencing is June 19

Morrial Thomas, aka Marrio Thomas, entered a plea of guilty to two counts of armed robbery in the middle of his trial on April 29, according to District Attorney Brent Coreil. He said Thomas, 19, of 615 Long St., was on trial for an armed robbery of Country Cove on October 26, 2006, and of Hibbett Sports on November 15, 2006.

The defendant entered a “Crawford Plea” after Judge John Larry Vidrine ruled Thomas’ confession was admissible, even though the policeman who took the statement, Officer Joey Bolfa, is now deceased. Detective Chip Matte had already testified he witnessed the signing of the confession and it was done voluntarily.

Judge Vidrine ordered a pre-sentence investigation and set the sentencing for June 19, at 9 a.m. The defendant was remanded to the Evangeline Parish Jail until sentencing.

Raymond Lejeune and Johnathan vidrine represented the State of Louisiana and Darrel Hickman of Alexandria represented the defendant.

Thomas is facing a sentence of no less than 10 years and not more than 99 years at hard labor without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence on each of the charges.

District Attorney Brent Coreil commended the work of the Ville Platte Police Department, and in particular Detectives Chip Matte, Linton Fontenot, Kevin McDaniel and Chip Pitre for the work they did on the case following the death of fellow officer Joey Bolfa.

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