Manhattan Man Pleads No Contest In Death

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Manhattan man pleaded no contest to second-degree murder in the death of a man whose body was found along a dirt road in December 2011.

Twenty-year-old Michael Layne accepted the plea deal Tuesday in the death of 31-year-old Steve Freel. He also pleaded no contest to aggravated robbery and kidnapping.

Prosecutors say Freel and Layne committed several armed robberies together but had a falling out. That led Layne to drive Freel to a rural area near Manhattan and shoot him.

The Manhattan Mercury reports the state agreed to recommend a sentence of about 24 years in prison.

Last week, Layne's boss, Domingo Soto, was convicted of first-degree murder for providing Layne with the gun that he used to shoot Freel.

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