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Lafayette man sentenced to 30 years for manslaughter

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) -James Bixler was sentenced 30 years for the murder of 54 year old Rick Couch.

The 26-year-old will spend 27 of those 30 years in the Department of Correction and he will be under supervised probation for the last three years of his sentence.

James Bixler pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter last month. Under Indiana law, voluntary manslaughter is defined as knowingly or intentionally killing another human being while acting under sudden heat.

Last August, Rick Couch was found dead in a home on N. 16th Street. Bixler was taken into custody by police when he was found in the home with blood on his chest and socks. He eventually admitted that he and Couch got into an argument that turned physical. An autopsy showed that Couch had been beaten on his head and that resulted in fatal brain injuries.

After Bixler plead guilty last month, part of the deal was a minimum sentence of 25 years. He was required to serve at least 75 percent of that. On Monday, the judge sentenced him to 30 years after hearing various testimonies from family and friends of both Bixler and Couch.