COVINGTON, La. (WVUE) - A North Shore man who admitted to strangling his ex-girlfriend and then burning her body in 2015 last month was ordered to serve 50 years in prison Tuesday (March 12), according to the St. Tammany Parish District Attorney’s office.
Gary Harris, now 57, of Bush pleaded guilty to manslaughter and obstruction of justice by tampering with evidence on Feb. 14 in the murder of 42-year-old Nannette King, D.A. Warren Montgomery said in a news release Wednesday.
King was reported missing on Sept. 20, 2015, the D.A. said, after never returned to the Bogalusa motel where she and her daughter were staying. Her body and car were found three weeks later, badly burned in a wooded area near Sun.
Harris and King had an adult daughter and lived together for many years. Before her disappearance, King moved out of their home in Bush to Bogalusa with their daughter. Investigators called Harris and King’s relationship “volatile.”
Investigators said Harris strangled King to death at their once-shared home after luring her there to collect her things. Harris’ brother, Ray Harris, later admitted he picked up Gary from somewhere near the location King’s body was found. He also confessed to hiding evidence.
A spokeswoman for the D.A.'s office said Harris was initially charged with second-degree murder, but pleaded guilty in February in exchange for the reduced manslaughter charge. District Judge Raymond Childress ordered Harris to serve 40 years for the manslaughter charge and an additional 10 for obstruction of justice, to be carried out consecutively.
Ray Harris, now 67, was also sentenced Tuesday, when Childress ordered him to serve five years in prison for accessory after the fact.