Wed, Feb 20, 2013
According to The Advertiser, Seth Fontenot, the 18-year-old Lafayette man accused of fatally shooting Austin Rivault and two others Feb. 10, will remain in jail another day.
A hearing this afternoon to set bail on the first-degree murder charge and to reduce bail on the two attempted first-degree murder charges was postponed after Judge Herman Clause said he knows the mother of one of the victims and that Fontenot’s girlfriend attends his church.
Clause said he did not think this would prevent him from being fair and impartial in the case, but said either attorney could file a motion asking him to recuse himself if they disagreed.
Fontenot’s attorney, Thomas Guilbeau did not object. Prosecutor Mark Garber did, telling Clause he will file a motion this afternoon asking him to recuse himself from the case “out of an abundance of caution” since it is a capital case that will be scrutinized for years.
Assistant District Attorney Jay Prather asked Clause to halt today’s hearing until the matter is settled.
Guilbeau objected, saying Fontenot has been in jail wrongfully for 10 days on what he believes should be a manslaughter charge, not first-degree murder.
Prosecutors want to delay his release until they can convene a grand jury in March, he said.
Clause advised prosecutors to file the motion by 4:30 p.m. today and he would try to get another judge appointed to hear the motion to recuse on Thursday.