Woman sentenced to 25 years in 2002 murder of ex-boyfriend

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - One of two people who pleaded guilty in the death of a man who was killed 10 years ago has been sentenced to 25 years.

Dana Smith was ordered to serve a quarter-century at hard labor after pleading guilty to manslaughter in the death of Nelson Dunbar of Baton Rouge.

Melvin Toups also pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was scheduled to be sentenced, but his hearing was postponed.

He will be sentenced in two weeks and also faces up to 25 years in prison.

Investigators said Dunbar was murdered in his trailer off Hoo Shoo Too Road in July 2002.

Toups and Smith admitted guilt to the crime in September. Smith had been in trial all week on second-degree murder charges. After some strong suggestions from state prosecutors, both pleaded guilty. The state proposed flipping Smith to testify against Toups, which nudged both of them to take a lesser charge of manslaughter.

The victim's brother is glad at least half of this is over.

"The sentencing of Dana Smith was a good victory for us this morning. Especially after 12 years of waiting for this to come to fruition for Melvin Toups he will be re sentenced they both plead guilty and hopefully we'll get some closure its not the sentence we wanted but we have to take what we can get at this point," said Christopher Dunbar, the victim's brother.

Smith talked her then boyfriend, Toups, into robbing her ex-boyfriend, Dunbar. The robbery went bad and Toups beat Dunbar to death.

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