Sep 16, 2011 7:34 PM by Melissa Hawkes

Lafayette Murder Solved After 22 Years

A Lafayette Parish cold case reopens and the accused murderer is found guilty, twenty two years after the crime. The jury unanimously found Louis George guilty of second degree murder.

Prosecutors said Michelle Steven was at home when George beat and strangled her, leaving her in a coma for 12 years before she died.

Family members of the victim, Michelle Steven, said they've been waiting for this day for 22 years. Some cried in the court room and others rejoiced after hearing Louis George was found guilty of second degree murder.

Michelle's neice, Sharell Steven, said"she was very beautiful, full of life. Very high in fashion, very loving person, funny."

Sharell remembers her aunt well, even though she was only five years old when her aunt was brutally attacked. She never knew all the details of the crime until the trial this week.

Steven said, "hearing these stories being told by the witnessed and detectives and everyone telling their part that part kind of made it easier it kind of put me at rest to know what actually happened."

Prosecutor Keith Stutes said DNA evidence, among other things, helped prove Lewis George murdered Stevens.

Stutes, said, "he had a finger print on a place that appeared to be a point of entry. Also some statements he made to family members later that seemed to implicate his involvement in the attack on Michelle."

Defense attorney, Harold Register, said "the DNA appeared to be the evidence the jury relied on to connect my client to the crime. We felt that it was not major evidence of any consequence, but obviously they felt somewhat differently."

The defense attorney says this case is far from over. Meanwhile, George's sentencing hearing is scheduled for September 29.



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