Wilkins pleads guilty to manslaughter in 2004 stabbing death - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Wilkins pleads guilty to manslaughter in 2004 stabbing death

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Robert Daniel Wilkins. (Source: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office) Robert Daniel Wilkins. (Source: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office)
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

On Monday, Robert Daniel Wilkins pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the 2004 death of Tony Fontenot.

The 37-year-old Wilkins was sentenced to 52 years in prison, 40 for manslaughter and 12 years for various drug charges.

"The 52 year sentence is not as good as a life sentence, but what it guarantees is the family will not be back in the courtroom and have to hear all these painful memories over and over again, so they were happy with it," said Assistant District Attorney Rick Bryant.

"We talked to them in depth about it. I personally felt very strongly that we would have convicted him. I have no doubt about that. However, to give the family some peace was more important than just getting a conviction for a life sentence," said Bryant.

Wilkins' defense attorney declined to comment.

Fontenot was found stabbed to death at a Carlyss boat launch in 2004.

In 2011, Wilkins was convicted of second-degree murder but an appeals court ruled he should get a new trial.

Wilkins' second trial was declared a mistrial in July 2013.

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