Louisiana businessman takes plea deal in estrange wife’s kidnapping

Posted at 10:47 AM, August 4, 2021 and last updated 1:11 AM, December 13, 2022

LAFAYETTE (KATC) — A Lafayette businessman accused in the kidnapping of his estranged wife in 2017 reportedly accepted a plea deal during a recent trial.

Lawrence Handley allegedly orchestrated the kidnapping of his estranged wife, Schanda Handley, which later involved the death of two suspected hired kidnappers who drowned while trying to escape police. Handley, 53, was located and arrested in August 2017 at a motel in Slidell.

FILE – Lawrence Handley (Lafayette Parish Sheriff)

He was originally indicted on counts of conspiracy to commit second-degree murder, conspiracy to commit aggravated kidnapping, attempted second-degree kidnapping, second-degree kidnapping, and violation of a protective order. The 15th Judicial District Attorney’s Office agreed on July 26 to waive the conspiracy charges and the protective order charge and reduce the aggravated kidnapping charge to second-degree kidnapping in exchange for Handley’s guilty plea.

Both second-degree kidnapping charges will carry a possible 15-35 year sentence, while the attempted second-degree kidnapping charge will carry a maximum sentence of 20 years.

Following a pre-sentencing investigation, Handley will have a sentencing hearing.

This story was originally published July 26, 2021, by KATC in Lafayette.