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Man Gets 15 Years for 1992 Slaying

November 4, 1997

CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE, N.J. (AP) _ A man was sentenced to 15 years in prison for beating and strangling a female impersonator who performed oral sex on him while he was passed out on the beach.

Brian Halter, a 25-year-old former lifeguard, pleaded guilty in August to aggravated manslaughter in the June 1992 death of 31-year-old Rene Ouellet. Halter could be eligible for parole in 1 1/2 years.

At the sentencing Monday, his lawyer attributed the killing to Halter having ``way too much to drink and an aversion to homosexual activity.″

According to Halter, he awoke from an alcohol-induced sleep to find Ouellet performing oral sex on him. He bludgeoned Ouellet with a board and buried the body in the sand under the boardwalk in Wildwood. Two weeks later, someone saw an arm sticking out of the sand and called police.

Prosecutor Barbara Bakley Marino said that after Halter beat Ouellet, he left him for dead and returned later to check on him. When he saw that Ouellet had moved to a different spot, he choked him and buried him again, she said.

``We believe Mr. Halter is not likely to reoffend, but he needs to be punished for taking a life,″ Bakley Marino said.

Ouellet, a Montreal native, had worked as impersonator using the name Michelle.

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