NewsLocal NewsLee County


Murder victim's family speaks to Lally in court after guilty plea

LaPierre mother
Lally in court
LaPierre sister
Posted at 10:00 AM, May 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-16 20:54:20-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — James Lally entered a guilty plea on second-degree murder charges in a Lee County courtroom Monday.

The judge accepted the guilty plea and subsequently sentenced him to 25 years in prison.

Lally, a resident of Iona was charged with the murder of girlfriend Suzanne LaPierre. He was arrested in Duval County on an unrelated warrant.

LaPierre was reported missing in early February, with her remains found roughly a week later.

Lally reportedly admitted to killing LaPierre by beating her with a hammer, as well as dragging and burying the body. Prosecutors say LaPierre had told him she was going to move out of the home they shared.

Lally was extradited to Lee County overnight after being arrested in Jacksonville.

A few family members of LaPierre’s were in attendance for court Monday. Speaking were Suzanne’s mother and sister.

“Suzanne saw her chance to help someone in an even tougher position than she was," said Suzanne's mother. "She stepped up to the plate. This was my daughter- a bright, shining star in a sometimes dark world. Now that light has diminished forever. She is missed by her family and her friends.”

Speaking to Lally, Suzanne's sister said, “Use this time. It is time that my sister will never have. In this way, and only in this way, can he begin to repay the inconceivable debt that he owes to my family and my beautiful sister Suzy.”

The State Attorney's Office says the plea arrangement was at the request of LaPierre's mother, who asked for an early resolution of the case.