Days before the trail is set to begin, more information is surfacing in the Seth Fontenot murder trial.
Fontenot is charged with one count of first degree murder and two counts of attempted first degree murder for the shooting death of 15-year-old Austin Rivault and the wounding of two other teens. The incident happened on February 10th, 2013, when Fontenot opened fire on the trio for allegedly trying to break into his truck.
Over the last month, a slew of motions have been filed. Among them, Fontenot's defense attorney Thomas Guilbeau requested prosecutors disclose whether the two injured teens at the center of the case were granted immunity against charges for breaking into homes and vehicles.
Judge Kristian Earles also granted the motion to seal the gruesome crime scene photographs from trial-to spare the family of Rivault the trauma. Rivault was shot in the back of the head.
And Fontenot's counsel was granted permission to take Fontenot to view the crime scene, which is off Green Meadow Road in Lafayette. They'll be allowed two hours to photograph, take their own measurements, and determine the actual events that transpired with experts on hand.
Court documents show the prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Mark Garber, intends to present evidence which shows Fontenot had a history as a so-called drug dealer, apparently selling prescription amphetamines like Adderall and Vyvanse to fellow students at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for exam studying.
It's something Garber says casts doubt on Fontenot's credibility. But the defense calls the accusations "irrational" and says painting Fontenot as a drug dealer would be laughable if the circumstances didn't involve first degree murder-the most serious of charges.
While Fontenot says his intent was only to scare the teens, phone records paint a different picture. Text message exchanges between Fontenot and friends months prior to the incident show Fontenot was fed up with the rash of vehicle break-ins in his neighborhood.
Several texts say he'd shoot anyone breaking into his truck. But once all the evidence surfaces, the jury will ultimately have to decide if Fontenot had intent to kill beyond a reasonable doubt.
Fontenot's attorney wants to know if his client's truck was dusted for prints that may have belonged to the three teens, but it's still unclear if police did that and if they did what if any results came of it. Judge Earles has placed a gag order on participants in the case. The trial remains scheduled for November 12th.
Over the next couple of years, crime cameras may be the norm throughout the city of Lafayette. But first, the Lafayette Police Department must get the funding approved by the Lafayette Consolidated Government.More >>
Over the next couple of years, crime cameras may be the norm throughout the city of Lafayette. But first, the Lafayette Police Department must get the funding approved by the Lafayette Consolidated Government. More >>