A Cape Girardeau judge has rejected a plea bargain worked out between the prosecutor and a murder suspect and has sentenced a 19-year-old man to prison for 15 years. The prosecutor and the lawyer for Bernard Richards had agreed to ask for a 7-year sentence if Richards pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the January murder of 17-year-old Jacob Bowers during a failed robbery. Richards’ lawyer has tried to withdraw the guilty plea since the judge has rejected the plea agreement. The judge says he is not bound by the plea agreement.
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