LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — A man charged with second degree murder accepted a plea deal, causing upset to the victim’s family.

A man accused of shooting and killing John Lee Hickenbottom accepted a plea deal from prosecutors to lessen his sentence. The victim’s sister, Angee Hughes, said her brother’s death was unnecessary and should not have happened.

“There was no way that my brother should have died. There were no weapons involved, there was nothing. He simply went outside to stop a disturbance that did not even involve him,” Hughes said.

John Hickenbottom was shot and killed at his home while attempting to deescalate an altercation back in Jan. 2020. Four people were charged in connection to his death. Drake Duhon, Logan Lacroix, Heidi Bergeron, and Tyler Pellerin were arrested and charged shortly after the shooting and death. Duhon was charged with second degree murder while the other three were charged with principle to second degree murder. Hughes said she was outraged when she discovered all four were offered plea deals recently.

“But for the DA’s office to allow pleas it sickens me, it truly sickens me. I feel that they should be judged by their peers. I don’t feel that anybody hearing the evidence that’s come to light could possibly not sentence them harshly…extremely harshly,” Hughes said.

Drake Duhon, who prosecutors say killed the victim, was charged with second degree murder originally. If convicted he would have faced a mandatory life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole. He instead accepted a plea deal offered to him to reduce the charge to manslaughter and will in turn serve 25 years in prison. The other three still have their court hearings scheduled next month for April 19. Hughes said she is not happy with Duhon’s plea and would have preferred a trial.

“My preferences would be that a jury would be allowed to determine the sentence of all four of them,” Hughes said.

We reached out to the DA for a comment but because the other three suspects in the case have not gone to court, he declined to speak at this time.