Port Arthur man gets life sentence in 2012 murder of his aunt

A Port Arthur man has been sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to a 2012 murder.

Lawrence James Jr pleaded guilty to the murder of his aunt, Bettye Loretta Davis, 70, of Port Arthur.

James' defense attorney had requested a 25-year sentence.  Prosecutors insisted on a life sentence at the request of family members.  Judge Larry Gist Monday sentenced James to life.

Bettye Loretta DavisDavis was a retired Port Arthur educator.

James was arrested in Houston on non-related drug charges.  He was driving Davis' Toyota Camry at the time of his arrest. According to 12News file stories, James, while officers questioned him about the drugs, admitted he had hurt Davis.

James and his aunt got into an argument after he did some yard work for her and he felt she owed him more money than she paid him.

He admitted to stabbing her several times and leaving her to die in her kitchen at her home located at 2213 Shirley St.

Davis' body was not found until several days later.


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