HOUMA, La. — A Louisiana man facing trial in a murder case has been sentenced to 30 years imprisonment — for committing a lewd act.

Defense attorney Tracy Schwab told The Courier (http://bit.ly/2iGd2kn ) he thinks prosecutors pursued the unusually harsh sentence for obscenity because of doubts about whether they could convict Maurice Banks of Houma in the murder case.

Banks was convicted of his sixth felony — the obscenity charge — in September. That makes him a habitual offender, subject to stiffer penalties. District Judge Johnny Walker sentenced him to 30 years on Jan. 5.

Banks remains charged with acting as a principal to second-degree murder in the 2015 death of Corey Butler.

Assistant District Attorney Jason Dagate says two co-defendants are also charged.

VIAThe Associated Press
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