COVINGTON, La. - The leader of a Ku Klux Klan group in Louisiana pleaded guilty yesterday to killing an Oklahoma woman - an erratic recruit who a witness said yelled "I want out" the day after her initiation.

Raymond Foster, 49, of Bogalusa, was immediately sentenced to life in prison for second-degree murder by state District Judge Peter Garcia.

Cynthia Lynch, 43, a Klan recruit from Tulsa, Okla., was shot and killed in November 2008, the day after initiation rites in rural St. Tammany Parish, about 50 miles north of New Orleans.

Frankie Stafford, a former member of the Klan group, testified Monday that Lynch cried tears of joy the night of her initiation but the next day angrily cursed Foster and yelled "I want out" before Foster shot her.

After entering his plea yesterday, Foster's voice was shaky as he apologized to Lynch's mother, Virginia Lynch, who was in the courtroom's front row. She had been present throughout jury selection and Stafford's testimony and wept at times as prosecutors outlined the crime.