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Mar 13, 2012 10:46 AM by AP

Death penalty off table in Dutchtown slaying

GONZALES, La. (AP) - Prosecutors in Ascension Parish say they have decided not to seek the death penalty against a man accused in a 22-year-old kidnapping, rape and slaying of an 18-year-old Dutchtown woman.

The Advocate reports prosecutors agreed Monday to reduce a first-degree murder charge against 56-year-old Tolbert Morris of Carville to second-degree murder in the slaying of Tammy Laine Bowers.

Prosecutors made the change in a hearing before state District Judge Ralph Tureau.

Morris would face a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of probation, parole or suspension of sentence if convicted of second-degree murder.

An Ascension Parish grand jury also indicted Morris for aggravated rape and second-degree kidnapping in connection with Bowers' death on March 7, 1990.

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