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Jeffrey LaGasse Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Murder 

Thirty-one-year-old Jeffrey LaGasse pleaded guilty last month to killing his former boss, 50-year-old Louise Brochu.Her body was found, badly beaten, at her home and business in New Portland three years ago, after what prosecutors describe as a robbery gone bad.Today, dozens of Brochu’s family members and friends packed a courtroom in Skowhegan, as LaGasse was sentenced to thirty years in prison.”It was an agreed-upon disposition, an agreed-upon plea, with a joint recommendation from both the defense and the state of thirty years for the crime of murder,” says William Stokes, deputy attorney general.Before LaGasse’s sentence was handed down, family members of Louise Brochu had the chance to speak about their loss. They wore red bandanas, like Louise did, but said without her, colors don’t shine as brightly anymore.They described a woman who liked the windows down and music up, who once embarked on a bike ride to Alaska from her home in Jackman, and who was a strong, brilliant entrepreneur.”I believe in my heart she practiced what she preached. Unfortunately, because of one person’s selfishness, she was taken far too soon. She was so full of life and had so much more to give.””Hate breeds hate, but it stops here, with him going to jail for what he’s done.”LaGasse was also offered the chance to speak, but declined.”You do not wish to say anything at this time?””No, your honor.”Deputy Attorney General William Stokes says the sentence is a good compromise, which avoids a trial, and is one the Brochu family supports.”They were pleased we were able to reach this disposition. It’s not enough, for the conduct and for the beating that she sustained. But it is a significant sentence and I think it resolves it. It resolves it in a way that allows the family to move on,” Stokes says.The judge told the family he hopes the sentence helps them find closure. Brochu’s only daughter, Emily, says at least, justice in the court system has been served.”And that’s it. We’re done. He’s in jail,” Emily says. “It’s a good day. We get to smile and know that something has been done.”