04/26/2013 02:44 PM by Tonya LaCoste
The attorney for Seth Fontenot is asking a judge to throw out the first degree murder and two attempted first degree murder indictments against his client. According to court documents, Attorney T… Click to Read More and see additional updates
04/26/2013 02:44 PM by Tonya LaCoste
The attorney for Seth Fontenot is asking a judge to throw out the first degree murder and two attempted first degree murder indictments against his client. According to court documents, Attorney Tommy Guilbeau says the grand jury, which indicted Fontenot on Feb. 21, was improperly empanelled. In Feb, Fontenot is accused of shooting to death 15-year-old Austin Rivault and shooting and injuring Rivault's two teenage friends.
According to court documents, Guilbeau said Magistrate Thomas Frederick should have read the five requirements separately to propspective jurors instead of reading them all at one time. When Guilbeau questioned Frederick about the process and asked whether the questions were posed in such a way to require each of the prospective grand jurors to raise their hand if the question pertained to them in any way, Frederick said "no," according to court documents.
In addition, according to court records, Frederick said he made no effort to find out if prospective jurors had ever been indicted for a felony or whether they had been convicted of a felony that had not been pardoned. A Third Circuit Court of Appeal opinion prohibits anyone with a felony indictment from serving serving on a jury.
Furthermore, Guilbeau argues Frederick was not authorized to empanel the grand jury stating Frederick does not have such power as a commissioner. Guilbeau claims in court documents empanelling a grand jury should be done only by an elected district judge.
04/19/2013 11:42 AM by Tonya LaCoste
The night 15-year-old Austin Rivault was shot and killed and two of his friends shot and injured, the alleged killer's sister called 911 to report a possible vehicle burglary happening, according to court documents.
Today, we were given access to a motion for bill of particulars and Brady material" filed by the state this week.
Minutes later, Seth Fontenot, 18, is accused of firing three shots at a truck with the teens inside. The 911 call is "reportedly based on the defendant's alleged observations of awakening to the sound of hearing door handles popping and then loooking outside and seeing some figures run to the truck which he ultimately shot", according to documents filed Assistant District Attorney Mark Garber with the 15th Judicial District.
Fontenot is charged with first degree murder in Rivault's death, and two counts of attempted first degree murder in the other shootings.
When a Lafayette Police officer, responding to the 911 call, arrived at Fontenot's home, Fontenot did not want to file a report, according to court records. He allegedly didn't mention the shootings and told the officer nothing was stolen or damaged.
The document reveals Fontenot is accused of firing a Beretta 92F 9mm handgun loaded with jacketed hollow point ammunition.
According to to ADA Garber, "there is no indication or evidence that the boys (the three teenagers in the truck) presented any threat to the defendant or that they were doing anything that could reasonably be interpreted to have been a threat to the defendant or anyone else."
Fontenot pleaded not guilty to all counts and bonded out of jail on March 4. He's scheduled for pre-trial motions on Aug. 29.
03/07/2013 12:50 PM by Tonya LaCoste
Seth Fontenot's lawyer, Tommy Guilbeau, is asking for a copy of surveillance video of the night three teenagers went to the hospital after Fontenot allegedly shot them.
The Director of Facilities Management was served a subpoena for the production of hospital surveillance video captured on Feb. 10 between midnight and 5:00 a.m.
Fontenot bonded out of jail on Monday and is facing a first degree murder charge and two attempted first degree murder charges. He's accused of shooting at a truck with three teenagers inside, killing 15-year-old Austin Rivault.
03/06/2013 11:16 AM by Ian Auzenne
Lafayette District Attorney Mike Harson's office has asked a judge to impose a gag order on all parties in the Seth Fontenot case. In a motion filed Monday, prosecutors ask Judge Kristian Earles to stop counsel, possible witnesses, and law enforcement officials who "either will or might testify at the trial" from talking publicly about the case.
The prosecution, led by Assistant District Attorney Mark Garber, asked for the gag order after Fontenot's attorney, Thomas Guilbeau, accused the shooting victims of criminal activity when he spoke to a Lafayette TV station. Prosecutors say those statements were "misstatements of the known facts" of the case and could taint the jury pool. Prosecutors also say further comment from the defense could lead to the families of the victims to speak out publicly about the case.
03/04/2013 06:23 PM by Chris Welty
This morning 18-year-old Seth Fontenot pled not guilty to one charge of first degree murder and two counts of attempted first degree murder.
He's accused of shooting at a truck with three teens inside, killing one. Fontenot did not appear in court today, his attorney Tommy Guilbeau entered the plea on his behalf.
Seven hundred thousand dollars was put up for Fontenot to bond out of jail. His friends, family, and even complete strangers put up property so he could bond out. In all they put up around six hundred sixty thousand dollars and a commercial bond was put up for about forty thousand dollars.
Seth Fontenot and his family had no comment as he left the Lafayette Parish Jail. His mom and dad whisking him to the car. His mother in tears, this time tears of joy to have her son home. Dozens of Fontenot's supporters were in court for his hearing wearing special pins and shoes.
"We're walking this out with him. The converse is his favorite shoe and his favorite color is red," said his godmother, Tiffany Gautreaux.
In all Fontenot spent 22 days in jail. His attorney Tommy Guilbeau says it was 22 days too many, but bonding out is a good day for Fontenot and his family.
"He was well treated at the jail and the other prisoners were sympathetic toward him and helpful," said Guilbeau.
He goes on saying Fontenot maintains his clients innocence and says Fontenot was shooting because someone was breaking into his truck and there was no intent to kill or harm anyone. Guilbeau says one of the biggest questions is what were the three teenagers doing that night.
"They broke in and entered a home stealing beer that night, that they were intoxicated that night and taken someone's car unlawfully."
Guilbeau says Fontenot has accepted responsibility for his actions and justice will prevail in the end.
"Our prayers are for all the families. There has been a loss on all sides and that the truth comes out," said Fontenot's godmother, Gautreaux.
Police have not confirmed Guilbeau's claims against the three teenagers. We have reached out to families of the victims who have not responded. Tommy Guilbeau tells KATC he plans to file more than two dozens motions within the next 30 days. He will not talk specifics about his plan of action.
03/04/2013 02:53 PM
Seth Fontenot has just bonded out of jail from the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center. Earlier today he entered a plea of "not guilty" to one count of first-degree murder and to two counts of attempted first-degree murder.
03/04/2013 10:53 AM by Chris Welty
The suspect in the shooting of three teens last month has pleaded not guilty. Fontenot is charged with one count of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder. Fontenot was not in the courtroom. The plea was entered by his attorney, Thomas Guilbeau.
02/28/2013 03:06 PM by KATC
Over a hundred supporters of Seth Fontenot attended his bond hearing today. Fontenot is an 18-year-old accused of shooting and killing 15-year-old Austin Rivault and shooting and injuring two other 15-year-old boys. The court room was also packed with families and supporters of the victims. Fontenot's bond was reduced to $700,000 dollars today, and his attorney Tommy Guilbeau says Fontenot needs to post $84,000 in order to get out of jail. However, he doesn't think his client will be able to do that today. KATC's Allison Bourne-Vanneck will have more from Tommy Guilbeau and District Attorney Mike Harson's office at 5:00 and 6:00 tonight.
02/28/2013 01:57 PM by Tonya LaCoste
Bail has been reduced for Seth Fontenot, the 18-year-old accused of shooting and killing 15-year-old Austin Rivault and shooting and injuring two other 15-year-old boys. Judge Kristian Earles reduced bail at the request of Fontenot's attorney, Tommy Guilbeau. Fontenot's total bail is $700,000 - $500,000 for the 1st degree murder charge and $100,000 each for Fontenot's two attempted 1st degree murder charges. Guilbeau said Fontenot would have to post an $84,000 bond to get out of jail. He doesn't expect that to happen today.
02/27/2013 01:49 PM
The motion to recuse Judge Herman Clause as the judge in Seth Fontenot's case has been withdrawn. The hearing was set for 1:30 today. However, the state also revealed they are not seeking the death penalty, so this case is being reclassified as a felony case instead of a capital case. Because of this reclassification, a new judge will have to be assigned anyway. A bond hearing for Fontenot will be held tomorrow at noon. Judge Kristian Earles will preside.
02/21/2013 03:58 PM
Seth Fontenot has been indicted on a charge of first degree murder and two counts of attempted first degree murder. He's accused of shooting and killing Austin Rivault, as well as injuring two of his teenage friends.
02/21/2013 10:08 AM
The motion to recuse Judge Herman Clause as the judge in Seth Fontenot's case has been pushed back to next week. The state requested Clause recuse himself because he knows one of the victim's parents, but Clause says he hasn't spoken to them in years. He also says he goes to church with Seth Fontenot's girlfriend, but he doesn't know her. Clause says he can remain impartial, so Judge Marilyn Castle will hear the motion for recusal Wednesday, at 1:30, according to Fontenot's attorney.
Fontenot is facing a charge of first degree murder and two counts of attempted first degree murder. He's accused of shooting to death 15-year-old Austin Rivault and wounding two other 15-year-old boys when he allegedly fired a gun at a truck one of the boys was driving.
02/20/2013 09:28 PM by Chris Welty
As Seth Fontenot walked into court Wednesday he could not stop crying, and when his family saw him, they shrieked and also burst into tears.
It was a very emotional day. One person KATC spoke with off camera said, "This is a stressful day for everyone. No matter what side you're on, there's no winners today."
More than 150 people attended the hearing, some wearing ribbons and buttons with Austin Rivault's picture.
It was standing room only as the courtroom location changed three times until there was a one big enough for everyone.
The state filed a motion for Judge Herman Clause to recuse himself from the case. Judge Clause says he does know one of the victim's parents but he can remain impartial and hasn't spoken to that person in decades.
Judge Clause also attends the same church as Seth Fontenot's girlfriend but says he doesn't know her and it wouldn't affect his judgment.
The State is asking Judge Clause to voluntarily recuse himself or refer the matter to another judge to decide if Clause is fit to handle this case.
Fontenot's attorney, Tommy Guilbeau is upset with the state's motion saying; Fontenot already spent ten days in jail calling this "another tactic to delay, delay, delay while his client waits in jail."
Judge Clause has postponed the hearing on his possible recusal until Thursday.
02/20/2013 04:21 PM
In court today, Judge Herman Clause was supposed to hear a motion for 18-year-old Seth Fontenot, whose attorney was requesting his bail be reduced. Fontenot is facing a charge of first degree murder and two counts of attempted first degree murder. He's accused of shooting to death 15-year-old Austin Rivault and wounding two other 15-year-old boys when he allegedly fired a gun at a truck one of the boys was driving. The judge did not hear the motion today. The state filed a motion asking the judge to recuse himself from the case because he knows one of the victim's parents.
Clause admitted in court he did know one of the victim's parents, but he said he can remain impartial and hasn't spoken to that person in decades. Clause gave the state until 4:30 p.m. today to file the necessary paperwork. Tomorrow, he will decide whether to recuse himself. He also may bring in another judge to make that decision.
Fontenot's attorney, Tommy Guilbeau, claims this is simply a tactic the state is using to delay while his client waits in jail.
150 to 200 people showed up for today's hearing and were not allowed to leave court once the proceedings began. Family members and friends of all involved were there to show their support; some were wearing buttons with Austin Rivault's picture on their clothing.
Bail remains set at $500,000 for each attempted first degree murder charge for a total of $1 million and bail has not been set for the first degree murder charge. Court documents show that Guilbeau is basing his bail reduction request on several factors, including Fontenot having no prior record, he would not be a danger to anyone, and no controlled dangerous substances were present in Fontenot's blood when he was arrested.
02/15/2013 01:33 PM by Tonya LaCoste
The attorney for 18-year-old Seth Fontenot is asking that bail be reduced for his client, who's facing a first degree murder charge and two counts of attempted first degree murder. Fontenot is accused of shooting to death 15-year-old Austin Rivault and wounding two other 15-year-old boys when he allegedly fired a handgun at a truck one of the boys was driving. Attorney Tommy Guilbeau said in his court filing, "The proof is not evident and the presumption is not great that the defendant is guilty of first degree murder or attempted first degree murder."
Bail is set at $500,000 for each attempted first degree murder charge for a total of $1 million and bail has not been set for the first degree murder charge. Court documents show that Guilbeau is basing his bail reduction request on several factors, including Fontenot having no prior record, he would not be a danger to anyone, and no controlled dangerous substances were present in Fontenot's blood when he was arrested Sunday morning.
Guilbeau is asking bail be reduced to $25,000 - $12,500 for each attempted first degree murder charge. Guilbeau said in his filing that Fontenot is an 18-year-old college student "who shows that he is financially unable to raise the funds necessary to make the bail presently fixed at the combined aggregate amount of one million dollars."
The day after Fontenot was arrested, Guilbeau told KATC Fontenot has "deep, deep, deep feelings of sadness and remorse." Guilbeau said Fontenot should not be charged with frist degree murder or attempted first degree murder, rather with negligent homicide or at worst manslaughter.
The bond reduction hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 1:30 p.m.
02/13/2013 01:55 PM by Ian Auzenne
The suspect in a fatal weekend shooting made his first court appearance this afternoon. The attorney for Seth Fontenot filed a motion to set bail on the first-degree murder charge and to reduce the bond on the attempted first-degree murder charges. A hearing date has not yet been set.
Fontenot is accused of firing shots early Sunday morning at a truck driving along Green Meadow Drive. The three teens in the truck were struck. One of them, 15-year-old Austin Rivault, died from his wounds.
02/12/2013 05:42 PM
A tragic incident claimed the life of our beloved Austin Paul Rivault, Sunday, February 10, 2013, in Lafayette, LA. He was 15 and a native and resident of Lafayette. Austin was a dynamo, small in stature but big in living life to its fullest and endearing himself to all who knew him. His comedic nature and dry wit entertained and attracted many friends.
Funeral Services will be held on Friday, February 15, 2013 at an 11:00 AM Mass of Christian Burial at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in Lafayette.
Entombment will be in St. Alphonsus Cemetery Mausoleum in Maurice.
Reverend O. Joseph Breaux, Pastor of St. Alphonsus Catholic Church will be the Celebrant of the Funeral Mass and will conduct the funeral services.
He is survived by his parents Kevin and Renee Miller Rivault of Lafayette; sister, Amanda Rivault of Hammond; brother, Adam Rivault of Lafayette; grandparents, Charles and Peggy Theresa Rivault of Baton Rouge, and step-grandmother, Harriet Babin Miller of Baton Rouge; an aunt, Tammy Rivault of Baton Rouge, and uncles, Darrin Rivault of Dallas, TX and Brian Miller and his wife Joni Miller of Baton Rouge; first cousins, Patrick Remson and Allie Remson of Baton Rouge and Dylan Miller of Baton Rouge and Jason Brouillette of Nashville, TN. He will be greatly missed by his great aunts, great uncles, cousins and numerous friends. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Paul and Jane Koenig Miller and great grandmother, Sarah Elizabeth Rosso Champagne and a step cousin, Dusty Brouillette.
He attended Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School, Pre-K through 8th grade, except for one year when he attended Cathedral Carmel Catholic School. Currently he was enrolled at St. Thomas More as a freshman. Austin was an avid outdoorsman who loved fishing, hunting and skeet shooting. His fishing skills were legendary, as he always caught the most and could spend hours indulging in the sport. His favorite fishing holes were False River at the Rivault Camp and the Miller Pond in Prairieville; but he also fished the private ponds in his neighborhood, the Vermilion River near his home and the Ouachita River near the family's deer lease. He excelled in the 4-H Skeet Shooting Program. His favorite sport was Lacrosse and was currently a member of the St. Thomas More Team. He was an altar server at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church.
Pallbearers will be Dylan Miller, Patrick Remson, William Mayer, Nick Landgrave, Chad Chiasson, Bailey Raborn, Gregory Murphree, Daniel Price, Jacob Comeaux, Josh Toomey, Paul Darr, Anthony Duhon and Logan Primeaux. Honorary pallbearers will be the Freshmen Lacrosse Team.
The family requests that visitation be observed in Martin & Castille's SOUTHSIDE location on Thursday from 2:00 PM to 8:00 PM and on Friday at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church from 9:00 AM until time of service.
A Rosary will be prayed Thursday at 6:30 PM in Martin & Castille Funeral Home.
Memorial contributions can be made in Austin's name to United Special Sportsman Alliance, N7864 Shotwell Lane, Pittsville, WI 54466 (http://www.childswish.org/). This is a special non-profit national wish granting charity which specializes in sending critically ill, disabled youth and disabled veterans on the outdoor adventure of their dream. All donations stay in Louisiana and are tax deductible.
02/10/2013 03:17 PM by katc
Lafayette Police have arrested Seth Fontenot, 18 years old, of Lafayette and charged him with 2 counts of Attempted First Degree Murder and 1 count of First Degree Murder. Investigators discovered that the shooting occurred in the 100 block of Green Meadow.
Police say Fontenot encountered the victims outside of his residence when the shooting occurred. The circumstances behind the shooting have not been released. The investigation remains ongoing.
02/10/2013 03:01 PM by katc
An arrest has been made in connection with the shooting that injured two teens and killed 15 year old Austin Rivault. Police say Seth Fontenot has been arrested. Police tell us he lives in the neighborhood where the shooting occurred. The cause of the shooting is still under investigation. We will continue to update when more information becomes available.
02/10/2013 11:04 AM by katc
Lafayette Police are investigating a shooting that left one teenager dead. Police say the three male victims, all 15 years old, were riding in a truck at approximately 1:45am Sunday in the Canberra Subdivision. Police say for unknown reasons, a male suspect fired three shots into the vehicle. All three victims were struck. The driver immediately drove himself and the two passengers to the hospital.
One of the victims died as a result of his injury. The two other victims are listed in stable condition. Investigators continue to gather information regarding the suspect and the circumstances surrounding the shooting.
Anyone with information about the shooting should call Lafayette Police or Crime Stoppers at 232-TIPS.