BROUSSARD, La. (KLFY) — The Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that Broussard murder suspect Jamiah Celestine (18) bonded out of jail Monday afternoon following his bond being reduced to a third of its original amount.
The family of his alleged murder victim, Diondre Williams (21), says they were blind-sighted by the bond reduction of their loved one’s suspected killer. Hours later they were notified Celestine was released.
On December 30, Celestine turned himself in for Diondre Williams’s death, three weeks after Williams was found shot multiple times near the corner of Gustave and Leon Streets.
“It makes me wonder what is the value of a human life? What is a life worth?”, questioned one of Williams’s relatives who wished to protect her identity out of fear.
$300,000 to $100,000. The new second-degree bond for 18-year-old Jamiah Celestine shocked the family who described his death.
“It was violent. It was horrendous. It was an overkill. No one deserves to die like that,” his family stated.
Before realizing Celestine had bonded out, Diondre Williams’s family told News 10 they didn’t want to show their faces because of the possibility of Celestine affording $10,000 to post bail, but they had to say something after seeing the drop in bail with no warning or understanding how it happened.
“I pulled up this information, and I literally was in awe. I literally had to count the zeroes because at first glance I thought it was $1,000,000, and then when I started counting the zeroes you know I just froze. My heart sank to my feet,” one family member said recalling the moment she discovered the reduced bond.
We reached out to the 15th Judicial District Attorney’s office about Celestine’s adjusted bond. District Attorney Don Landry confirmed the bond had dropped from $300K to $100K, but stated there was no bond reduction hearing, and therefore his office was not involved. “The judiciary took the action that they felt appropriate,” he stated.
News 10 then reached out to District Court Commissioner Andre’ Douget for clarification, but he has not returned our call.
“Diondre’s life was priceless. He may have not meant anything to other folks, but Diondre was loved. He belonged to us. He was ours, and it hurts. It takes a lot to speak up, but we have to because he is unable to fight for himself,” Williams’s family said.
Diondre Williams had one daughter and was an Overy Comeaux High graduate according to his family. Williams’s mother lives just two doors down from where Celestine stayed before his arrest. Family tells us Williams’s mother is still visiting her only son’s grave every other day sometimes for hours.
“We just want accountability. We want justice, and to be honest with you, $10,000 is not accountability,” Williams’s family concluded.
District Attorney Don Landry told me his victim’s assistance coordinator is reaching out to the family to see what they can do.