A 38-year-old Louisiana man, who is facing a first-degree murder charge in the beating death of his wife in the backyard of the couple's home in August, has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/29EkY4X) David Johnson Sr. of Geismar entered the plea Monday before state Judge Thomas Kliebert Jr.

Johnson, along with one of his attorneys, Rusty Messer, and Assistant District Attorney Shawn Bush, met with the judge behind closed doors. After the private meeting, the judge, Johnson and the lawyers returned to the courtroom, where Johnson entered his plea.

Johnson is accused of beating his estranged wife, 45-year-old Monica Butler Johnson, with a baseball bat Aug. 9 and injuring the arm of her 18-year-old son when he tried to defend his mother.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com