BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) – Eric Romell Augustus, 54, pleaded guilty in the 19th Judicial District Court to killing 76-year-old Lovie Variste in 2018.
Augustus verbally admitted to beating the great-grandmother in their apartment at 3300 Loan Oak Drive with various objects after smoking “mojo,” which is synthetic marijuana.
According to authorities, Variste was found dead in the rear bedroom of the apartment around 1:08 p.m., suffering from severe trauma to the head.
Augustus was originally charged with second-degree murder, which carries a life sentence without the possibility of parole. But he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter and will spend the next 35 years behind bars.
Augustus had a lengthy criminal history including numerous arrests for weapons and drug charges and in the past 10 years, he had been arrested four times for alleged domestic abuse battery according to court records.