LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — On Monday, the family of the UL student who died from fentanyl overdose gave their victim impact statements at a hearing held for the Arnaudville man convicted for her death.
The family gave their victim impact statements describing the emotional harm they have endured. Damien Bernard was found guilty of 2nd degree murder after JonTerez unknowingly consumed a fentanyl laced drug given to her by Bernard.
The impact statements came from JonTerez’s father, mother, brother, sister and cousin.
“I feel grateful and compassion for all who’s involved because it’s a loss all around,” JonTerez’s mother Mary Broussard stated.
15th Judicial District Judge Colbert ordered everyone to control their emotions during the proceedings.
JonTerez’s father spoke about the day of Benard’s pre-senticing being held Nov. 13 which is JonTerez’s 23rd birthday .
“We think it’s a sign from the holy spirit that the hand of god is involved in the sentencing and the verdict of life of imprisonment,” JonTerez’s father Bob Broussard added.
Bernard faces a mandatory life sentence listened as the family spoke to him and about him. Bernard’s sister who was in the courtroom. Cha’Nisha Batiste says her brother is being mis-characterized.
“For them to say what they said in the courtroom about my brother and call him a murder. I believe half of the stuff that was said should have never been but it is what it is,” Batiste explained.
JonTerez’s father read from his victim’s impact statement that he has no compassion for Damien, but as a father has compassion for Damien’s father.
“Our family is about love, forgiveness and service,” JonTerez’s father noted. “We have forgiven but by the same token my daughter’s life has gone onto God and I think he wants to save lives in her name; and took her early for that purpose in Jesus’s name. Our empathy and compassion does go out to his family, especially his father and his mother.”
Criminal Defense attorney Pat Magee was in the courthouse. Magee explained the next step is for defense or Damien to speak, and then the sentencing.
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