- Associated Press - Friday, September 18, 2015

LIVINGSTON, La. (AP) - Prosecutors say a Walker man who stabbed his pregnant wife and killed their unborn child while high on synthetic marijuana in 2012 took a plea deal just days before his trial was to begin.

After changing his plea from not guilty by reason of insanity to a plea of no contest, Jeffrey Reynolds received a 20-year sentence Thursday.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1W7B85w) Reynolds was given 15 years for attempted second-degree murder of his wife, Paula Reynolds, who has since divorced him, and 20 years for first-degree feticide of the child.

The punishments will run concurrently, and Reynolds will receive credit for the approximately three years he already has spent behind bars. The state dismissed a third charge of battery of a police officer resulting in medical attention, according to court documents.

“The plea was entered after obtaining the approval from the victim and her family,” the 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office wrote in a news release.

In July, the court unsealed a 24-page letter Reynolds wrote to state District Judge Brenda Ricks in which he discusses his family life and his affection for his wife and the son they had a few years before the attack. He also addresses the day of the stabbing and argues for a lesser charge. The letter offers insight into a defense Reynolds might have pursued had the case gone before a jury.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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