Judge convicts man, 29, of murder in woman’s beating

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — A Louisiana judge has convicted a 29-year-old man of beating a 50-year-old woman to death in 2010.

Roman Lastrapes told Calcasieu Parish Judge Mike Canaday that he gave Linda Moore cocaine in exchange for sex, but did not kill her.

Canaday told Lastrapes when he handed down the verdict Friday that he found Lastrapes’ testimony self-serving and not believable, The American Press reported .

He will sentence Lastrapes on June 4.

Police said Linda Moore had been sexually assaulted, then killed. Her body was found the morning of Jan. 15, 2010 behind a car detailing shop in Lake Charles.

She was hit in the head, possibly with a fist or baseball bat, Coroner Terry Welke testified.

“I never gave up on getting justice for my mother,” Moore’s son, Roy C. Moore III of Los Angeles, told the newspaper. “It took us eight years to get to this point but I never stopped believing that this day would come.”

Defense attorney Richard White told KPLC-TV , “I don’t think I’ve ever been more disappointed in a verdict.”

Lastrapes waived his right to a jury trial when he was represented by another attorney. White told the station earlier that he had tried unsuccessfully to get a jury trial, but Canaday ruled that the decision to have only a judge hear his case was irrevocable.

Moore said he was a Marine stationed in Afghanistan when his mother was killed.

“My children never got to know their grandmother but I share all of my memories of her with them,” he said. “They are still very young but they have seen and heard me talk about her all of this time. And now I can go back home and tell them that it’s over. We have some closure for my mother.”