UPDATE, 10/27/23, 10:30 a.m.: Benoit’s sentence has been reduced from 40 years to 32, after a hearing this morning.
ORIGINAL STORY: LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)– The man convicted in the 2017 murder of Christon Chaisson is facing a lighter sentence. A re-sentencing will be held Friday for Tyler Benoit, who is currently serving a 40-year sentence for manslaughter and obstruction of justice.
Benoit was found guilty of the 2017 shooting and killing of Christon Chaisson in Downtown Lafayette when Chaisson stopped to help a woman who had fallen on the ground and hit her head while fighting with her boyfriend.
Benoit’s resentencing comes after an appellate court ruled the trial judge`s 40-year sentence was excessive. Appellate court judges determined the maximum sentence of 40 years was too harsh because Tyler Benoit was a first-time felony offender with no prior offenses. The Chaisson family, however, said their reality is harsh.
“It’s just insane to hear that his sentencing is too harsh,” Kelly Chaisson, Christon Chaisson’s widow, said. “I’m sitting here, and my reality for my child is so harsh.”
Kelly Chaisson remembered getting the call that her husband’s killer could face a lighter sentence.
“It felt like a betrayal. It felt like it was a win for him and a loss for us. How are we being punished for his choice?” she questioned. “It’s a punishment to us and a win for the killer, for the murderer.”
While Benoit’s obstruction of justice charge will still require him to serve 20 years at hard labor, Kelly believes the maximum sentence of 40 years for manslaughter was fair.
“He was charged with second degree murder, and that carried a life sentence,” Kelly Chaisson told News 10. “So had the jurors selected a life sentence, then what? You know what I mean? So, he got less than what he was already even charged with.”
As she prepares for the re-sentencing on Friday, she only hopes a fair decision is made.
“I mean I would say to the judge that he would feel a lot different if it were his family, if it was his family member that was being a good Samaritan and trying to help somebody and then ends up getting shot and killed by a careless person,” she added.
Christon’s sister, Kimberly Hebert, also released a statement to News 10.
“I am deeply disheartened by the prospect of the court reconsidering the murderer’s sentence. The initial punishment was a measure of justice for my family and me, and any reduction in the sentence feels like a betrayal of that hard-earned justice,” the statement read.
Benoit’s re-sentencing will happen at 10 a.m. Friday morning at the Lafayette Parish courthouse.
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