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February 25, 2014

Lorenzo Archer gets 18 years in wife’s death

TERRE HAUTE — A Pennsylvania man received an 18-year prison sentence Tuesday after admitting to killing his wife and dumping her body in an Ohio ditch.

Lorenzo Archer Jr., 50, made no comment in Vigo Superior Court 5, where he was accused in the death of Kayla Herchelroad Archer.

The negotiated plea agreement called for an 18-year sentence for voluntary manslaughter and a three-year sentence for the class-D felony, with both sentences to be served concurrently. Archer is also to receive credit for the time he has spent in the Vigo County Jail since his arrest in the death investigation.

Judge Michael Rader accepted the plea agreement and issued a sentencing order in the case. The family of Kayla Archer was present during the hearing, and Chief Deputy Prosecutor Rob Roberts stated that the family was thankful that the case had been resolved without a trial.

The Archers had resided in the 300 block of Kent Avenue in a rented house. Kayla Archer’s body was found June 7, wrapped in a tarp, lying in a ditch in Greene County, Ohio. Her remains were identified  three days later when her fingerprints were run through the Automated Fingerprint Information System.

The investigation involved both Ohio and Terre Haute police, who noted that Lorenzo Archer appeared to have abruptly moved out of the couple’s rented home. Lorenzo Archer – a native of Harrisburg, Pa. – was located and arrested in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

He had been charged with felony murder and altering the scene of a death, a class-D felony. But the plea agreement reduced the felony murder charge to a class-A felony of voluntary manslaughter, stating that Archer acted under sudden heat and that no deadly weapon was involved.

An autopsy conducted last June by the Montgomery County (Ohio) Coroner’s office stated that Kayla Archer’s cause of death was asphyxiation. The medical examiner determined that she had been dead for about three or four days when her body was found.

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