Sentence suspended in stabbing case

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 15, 2010

VIDALIA — Emotions overwhelmed family members of a 2008 stabbing victim in the Concordia Parish Courthouse Wednesday, leading to a volatile expression of grief and disbelief that required law enforcement escorts away from the building.

Family members of Alex Promise Jr. were led to their vehicles by sheriff’s deputies after Judge Leo Boothe handed down his sentence against Crystal Gordon, 21.

Boothe sentenced Gordon to seven years in the Department of Corrections for manslaughter. The judge then suspended six years of the sentence.

Gordon was indicted on charges of manslaughter and had initially pleaded “not guilty,” but before the matter went to trial changed her pleading to “guilty.”

And while family members who had not been removed from the Concordia Parish courthouse stayed in the courtroom and emotionally disputed the sentence, Boothe said he took into consideration the circumstances surrounding the fatal stabbing.

The victim and Gordon were involved in a romantic relationship that had an ongoing history of domestic turbulence, Boothe said.

The two were reportedly embroiled in an instance of domestic violence at the time of the killing, he said.

“Ms. Gordon was in fear of strong physical harm and for her life,” Boothe said.

“It is also my thinking that she did not mean to kill him.”

The case was a tough one, Boothe said.

“I don’t think she could regret this more, and I think she regretted it from the instant it happened,” he said.

Seventh Judicial District District Attorney Brad Burget said he was not pleased with the sentence and that he was going to file a motion to reconsider Wednesday afternoon.

He said the prosecution would seek a harsher sentence and that he wanted to speak with the Promise family.

“The penalty for manslaughter is up to 40 years, and it can be as little as one day, or it can be totally probated,” he said. “It is totally the discretion of the court. We are going to ask (the judge) to take a look at it again and give it a different sentence, but that is totally up to him.”

The case began Aug. 10, 2008, when the couple were reportedly having a dispute. The two left their Brooks Street residence in Ridgecrest, but before getting into the car, Gordon armed herself with a kitchen knife.

She later reportedly told police she had done so because she was afraid for her safety.

During the drive, the dispute continued, and Gordon reportedly told investigators that the victim had hit her in the head and would not allow her to exit the vehicle — which at that time was parked —  and so she stabbed him.

The victim died of a single stab wound to the chest.

The stabbing occurred in the 100 block of Woodmont Street in Ridgecrest.