LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – A Lafayette man was sentenced to 35 years in prison for his part in planning the kidnapping of his estranged wife.

Lawrence Michael Handley, a millionaire who was arrested in 2017 after plotting to kidnap his ex-wife Schanda Handley, will not be eligible for parole. The judge recognized the time Handley has spent in the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center as time served towards his sentence.

“The evidence was overwhelming. The judge recognized that this is a dangerous man who had it out for his ex-wife. The judge made sure he is not getting out anytime soon,” a member of the prosecution team tells News Ten. 

Handley was originally indicted on counts: 

  • conspiracy to commit second-degree murder
  • conspiracy to commit aggravated kidnapping
  • aggravated kidnapping
  • attempted second-degree kidnapping
  • second-degree kidnapping
  • violation of a protective order

The 15th Judicial District Attorney’s Office agreed to waive both conspiracy charges and the protective order charge and reduce the aggravated kidnapping charge to second-degree kidnapping in exchange for a guilty plea. “We didn’t have to put them through a jury trial. That was important for us.”

In court documents, authorities alleged that from the couple’s rural Mississippi camp, Handley orchestrated the kidnapping of his now ex-wife from their home in Lafayette. While she visited with her then 14-year-old daughter and a friend, two hired kidnappers allegedly forced their way into the home with semi-automatic handguns. 

Before the courtroom, Schanda Handley talked about the impact the kidnapping has had on her life and her family’s life.

“To have the strength to come here today, in front of the world, and be cross examined to say this what happen and this is what I went through,” she said.

Her daughter, who witnessed the kidnapping take place, also took the stand. She says Michael Handley made her life “unlivable”. “For her daughter to do the same. I was proud.”