Wed, Feb 27, 2013
New information is coming to light about what happened before during and after 18-year-old Seth Fontenot was charged with first degree murder for firing on a fleeing pick-up truck with three 15-year-old teenagers inside it.
Yesterday, KLFY’s Chuck Huebner spoke with attorneys for both the defense and the prosecution in the state’s case against Seth Fontenot.
Lafayette criminal defense attorney Tommy Guilbeau is representing 18-year-old Seth Fontenot of Lafayette who was indicted earlier this month for first degree murder in the death of one 15 year old boy and attempted first degree murder of two others.
According to Lafayette Police the boys claimed they were driving through this sub division shortly before two in the morning, minding their own business, when a man armed with a pistol suddenly fired three shots at their passing truck.
According to KLFY, Guilbeau claims Fontenot was trying to stop the trio from breaking into his vehicle and opened fire on the truck when the three refused to stop.
The arrest warrant says Fontenot confessed to firing his gun at a fleeing vehicle, which he believed contain the suspects he had seen on his property as well as his neighbor’s property at the time of the incident.
Sources close to the ongoing investigation say, fingerprints were found on Fontenot’s vehicle, however they didn’t belong to any of the victims. Our source also says, DNA evidence was obtained which is still being processed.
Guilbeau has taken to the media multiple times saying his client has been overcharged and that the appropriate charge in this case should be negligent homicide or at the worst manslaughter, but not first degree murder.
District Attorney Mike Harson’s disagrees and told KLFY that his office had to convince a Lafayette Parish Grand Jury Fontenot had the intent to kill more than one person.
How Harson’s office went about convincing a Lafayette Parish Grand Jury of Fontenot’s intent is unclear.
Guilbeau told KLFY his client never intended to kill anyone and should have had the chance to tell his side of story to the grand jury proceedings.
According to the warrant for Fontenot’s arrest, he said, “his intentions were to only scare the victims, not to inflict bodily harm and/or death.”
Harson told KLFY, “we don’t have to allow him to address the grand jury and in cases where we already have a statement from the suspect there is no point.”
According to police, after the shooting the trio drove to the emergency entrance of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital.
KLFY say that while the trio drove themselves to the hospital, Fontenot’s sister – ( Kailey Fontenot) was calling 911 to report what had happened.
C’est what? Guilbeau told the station that the 911 operator took down the information and that a few minutes later they were contacted by a Lafayette Police Officer who took down some information and said they would follow-up on the case in the morning.
Since when does the Lafayette Police Department not respond to a location when shots are fired?
Fortunately 911 calls are recorded and are considered public record. It should be interesting to see what Fontentot’s sister told the 911 operator.
Guilbeau further alleges that Fontenot went to bed that night thinking he had put three bullets into the tailgate of the truck and that no one had been hurt, when in fact all three bullets struck all three boys according to KLFY.
Soon after arriving at the hospital the driver, 15-year-old Austin Rivault died from a gunshot wound to the head.
His two passengers, identified by The Ind Monthly as Cole Kelley of Teurlings Catholic and William Bellamy of STM survived their gunshot wounds.
Kelley and Bellamy continue to insist they were only driving by that night and when someone opened fire on them according to KLFY.
Guilbeau alleges that the trio had previously stolen beer from an owner of a local retail establishment and the truck they were in according to KLFY.
Guilbeau further alleges the truck was taken without the owner’s knowledge that night according to KLFY, however, one of the victim’s fathers alleges that Kelley and Bellamy asked to use the truck.
Guilbeau told the news station that he was contacted by someone who was on duty at Lourdes the night the teens drove up claims the youngsters appeared to be intoxicated and that video tape surveillance cameras inside the hospital might be able to help confirm that.
On Monday a spokesman Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center confirmed to KLFY the existence of those cameras and says some of those on duty that night did give statements to police.
The statements given by hospital personnel that night have not been made public, nor will likely be till trial.
Last week at a preliminary hearing Judge Herman Clause said he knows the mother of one of the victims and that Fontenot’s girlfriend – (Lauren Fogle, Miss Teen Lafayette USA) 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 disagree
Prosecuting attorney Mark Garber filed that motion and wants Clause off the case according to reports.
Fontenot’s attorney, Tommy Guilbeau, wants Judge Clause to stay according to reports.
Tomorrow, Judge Marilyn Castle will hear a motion by the State on whether or not to allow Clause to stay or go according to reports.