A 52-year-old man was sentenced Monday to 35 years for manslaughter in the 2017 death of his girlfriend.
Victor Luis Avila Ramos was also sentenced to 15 years for obstruction of justice because he tried to hide the vehicle used in the crime. His sentences will run concurrently.
Ramos was originally charged with second-degree battery in 2017 when he ran over Lauren Elizabeth Guidry, pinning her against the couple's trailer, after the two had an argument.
Guidry, 30, died of her injuries two days later. That's when charges for Ramos were upgraded to manslaughter.
Judge Mike Canaday, in sentencing Ramos, said the facts of the case were "heinous" and noted there had been a complete lack of remorse from Ramos. He said he expected Ramos would serve at least 30 years.
Prosecutor Jason Brown said the state seeks to charge Ramos as a habitual offender but is in the process of determining how many other convictions, if any, Ramos might have. According to Brown, Ramos is alleged to have prior offenses in Pennsylvania and Puerto Rico.
Ramos, who represented himself at trial and during sentencing, was given the opportunity to speak in court and declined.
John Legros, who said he and his wife Bonita, had helped to raise Guidry, told Canaday he believed Ramos should get the maximum sentence of 40 years. "He took a life," Legros said.
Just after sentencing and outside the courtroom, Kathy Williams, executive director of Oasis a Safe Haven, a women's shelter in Lake Charles, spoke about the case.
Williams said Guidry was both a friend of hers as well as being a former client of the women's shelter.
"Lauren and I had been friends for several years and she had also been to the shelter numerous times for domestic violence issues," said Williams. "Lauren had been beaten and abused during the time they (she and Ramos) were together. She was trying to leave him but she didn't do it in time."
Williams said Guidry was "a good person who really loved her family."
At Ramos' trial in October, jurors heard a recording of the dying victim telling investigators what happened to her and who did it.
Sgt. Roland Jones of the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's office went to the emergency room of a local hospital on May 22, 2017, to interview Guidry who had been brought to the hospital with severe internal injuries.
On the recording, Guidry said she was trying to leave Ramos when he got in his car and ran into her, crushing her.
When Jones asked who injured her, Guidry cried out, "Victor Ramos!"
Guidry was transferred from Lake Charles to a Lafayette hospital where she died two days later.
In his closing statements at trial, Brown told the jury, "Doctors at St. Pat's knew they couldn't save her (Guidry.) Lafayette General couldn't save her. She had a fractured spine, a crushed pelvis, she had internal bleeding, and they could not stop the bleeding. She suffered. With her dying breath, she told us what happened to her. She was trying to get away from Victor Ramos and it cost her everything."