Seth Fontenot attorneys appealing racial texts, gun pic - KLFY News 10

Seth Fontenot attorneys appealing racial texts, gun pic

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Seth Fontenot sent out a least two text messages in December 2012, making racial statements, while discussing alleged break-ins to his truck.

Fontenot wrote, "Nahh. It's all good. I'll just shoot a [racial slur]" and "Idk. Prolly the same [racial slur] who been tryin to break in."
 
As it stands, prosecutors will be able to use those text messages and a picture of Fontenot cradling an infant and holding a gun in his right hand for his first-degree murder trial.

Fontenot's attorneys are attempting an appeal, so that those pieces of evidence can't be used in his trial, but they are still awaiting the approval of State Judge Kristian Earles.

"Probably, what I would imagine, is it's [the request for appeal is] probably sitting on the judge's desk. He's got other things to do and he will eventually look at the order and grant them a return day," says Lafayette defense attorney Kevin Stockstill.  

It's unlawful for any of the parties involved with the Fontenot case to speak, but Stockstill says, Fontenot's attorneys will try to prove to the Third Circuit Court of Appeal that the texts and the picture of Fontenot aren't relevant to the case and could produce an unfair outcome.

"I think that's really what's at issue here—whether or not rule of evidence (Article 403), would allow this evidence or keep this evidence out, because it's too prejudicial," says Stockstill.

According to a motion from the prosecution in October, Fontenot's text messages "provide direct insight and directly state his then existing state of mind and therefore his intent to use deadly force." Likewise, the prosecution says Fontenot posing with the handgun and infant is "reflective of his then existing state of mind surrounding the use and purpose of deadly weapons."

Stockstill says an appeal could push back the trial date.

The trial has already been delayed until after Jan. 1, when Judge Ed Rubin will take over the case from Judge Earles.

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