Alex Cater Sentenced to 10 Years in Strangling Death of Leroy Studevant

Alex Cater was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in connection with the strangling death of 56-year-old Leroy Studevant.

The day started out normal and it ended in tragedy for Mr. Studevant and myself,” Cater said about New Year’s Eve 2011, the night Studevant died. “If I could take it back, I would.”

Police arrested Cater five months after Studevant was found dead in Marvin Gaye Park with a broken knife blade under his body and belt around his neck. His death was recognized as the first homicide of 2012. Cater’s arrest came after his jacket tested positive for Studevant’s blood. He was later held and indicted on first-degree murder and robbery charges.

It was a terrible crime partially because it was senseless and partially because it was violent,” said Judge Lynn Leibovitz before handing down the 10 year sentence.

Studevant’s death stemmed from a dispute when the victim refused to give Cater a cigarette, court documents state.

Mark Coates, a codefendant in the case, was sentenced in September to 23 years in prison.

Coates pleaded guilty in July, one month after Cater pleaded guilty, to second-degree murder while armed in connection with Studevant’s murder.

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