- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 23, 2015

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - A man accused of killing a 54-year-old man last year in Lafayette has been sentenced to 27 years in prison.

Twenty-six-year-old James Bixler also received three years of probation Monday in the August death of Rick Couch. Bixler had been charged with murder, but pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter last month.

The (Lafayette) Journal and Courier (https://on.jconline.com/1K87Df7 ) reports Bixler was a longtime friend of Couch’s son. Jeffrey Couch testified Monday that he had asked his father if he could host Bixler and his young child for a few days.

Authorities say Rick Couch was found dead the next day. Bixler testified last month they got into an argument that turned physical.

Tippecanoe County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Kristen McVey says Rick Couch’s injuries indicated he was beaten and stomped to death.

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Information from: Journal and Courier, https://www.jconline.com

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