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Guilty Plea to Witness Tampering, Arson in Langenbrunner Case

Posted at: 03/29/2013 4:38 PM

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A woman has pleaded guilty to witness tampering and arson in connection with the Trina Langenbrunner homicide case.

In a deal with prosecutors, Sandra Kay Couture pleaded guilty Thursday to first-degree aggravated tampering with a witness and first-degree arson.  The plea deal calls for a sentence of 8 years and 8 months, but the actual sentence will be determined by the judge.

Prosecutors alleged Sandra Kay Couture worked at the direction of Joseph John Couture, who is charged with second-degree murder and criminal sexual conduct in Langrenbrunner's 2000 death.  The case against him remains pending.

Sandra Couture was accused of threatening two people she and Joseph Couture believed to be witnesses, and prosecutors say she admitted to setting fire to the property of one of the witnesses, destroying a home and vehicles and killing two dogs.  St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin says the case is a strong statement to those who would attempt to tamper with witnesses in criminal cases.

Langenbrunner was from the Fond du Lac Reservation and was 33 when she was killed.  Her body was found on a road in Brookston.  The death remained a mystery until Couture, a Level III Sex Offender, was arrested last year.