DERIDDER, La. (AP) — Three men who pleaded guilty to obstructing justice by driving a woman’s body across parish lines and setting it and the car she had been using on fire have been sentenced to the maximum 20 years in prison.
State District Judge C. Kerry Anderson also ordered Morgan Douglas, Dixon Fife and Michael Roberts to pay $25,000 each to benefit Lexie Doga’s children, news agencies report. Her obituary said she has two daughters.
They were arrested after agents with the State Fire Marshal’s Office found a burned car and body in DeQuincy on Nov. 20, 2020.
An autopsy found that she was dead when her body was set on fire, and that she had taken a lethal level of methamphetamine, but could not determine what caused her death. Investigators believe she took the drug at a Calcasieu Parish home where she met with the men.
Assistant District Attorney Robert Morton called the men's actions “beyond despicable” in a sentencing memorandum, the American Press reported. He wrote that they provided a lethal amount of methamphetamine to Doga.
“When they discover her apparently deceased, rather than calling 911 or calling for an ambulance or the police or bringing her to the nearest medical facility, instead they put her in a vehicle, purchased gasoline, then burned her and the car in the remote woods of Beauregard Parish,” he wrote. "They directly or indirectly caused her death and did nothing to help her in her dying moments.”
During sentencing on Friday, the judge said the men can get credit for time served, for good behavior in prison, and for completing educational and rehabilitation programs in prison.
They could be out of prison in three to four years, news agencies reported.
“It’s a hard pill to swallow," Doga's mother, Jamie Cooley, told KPLC-TV. She said prosecutors couldn't charge the men with a more serious crime "because there’s no evidence because her body was burned so bad.”