Posted: Aug 26, 2013 6:40 PM
Updated: Aug 26, 2013 6:48 PM
With a new motions hearing only days away, Seth Fontenot's defense team is continuing its fight to use security cam video from Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in its case -- even as the parents of slain teen Austin Rivault fight to keep the video off limits.
Fontenot is accused of firing shots from a Beretta handgun in the early hours of Feb. 10 at a truck driving along Green Meadow Drive. The three teens in the truck were struck. One of them, 15-year-old Rivault, died from his wounds.
On Thursday, the defense for Fontenot filed several motions asking for time and resources to set up expert witnesses for the defense. The motions are asking for a separate hearing to discuss arranging for resources to provide Fontenot a proper defense. He is applying as a pauper for help in covering the cost of his defense.
In a response to an earlier motion from defense attorney Thomas Guilbeau asking for the Lourdes footage to be released to the defense through the discovery process, Devin and Renee Rivault objected on the grounds that the video should be considered part of their son Austin's medical record and therefore protected under medical privacy laws.
"Seth Fontenot tragically took away Austin Rivault's life and now he further seeks to take away his dignity and that of his family by requesting such medical video records which in no way could justify his actions of firing a gun THREE TIMES at a truck traveling AWAY from him and striking all three victims with three bullets," the parents wrote in the response. "There can be nothing in the video medical records of Lourdes taken of the victims after the shooting that could ever justify such an action."
Later in the motion, the parents claim Guilbeau or a member of his team violated federal privacy laws when they viewed the video. They also claim the defense team has violated a gag order in the case by giving a photo of a smiling Fontenot with his dog to The Daily Advertiser for use with their coverage of the case.
Although there is still a gag order in place, Guilbeau stated in his motion that he and his client hope to find exculpatory evidence in the video that will strengthen their case. Guilbeau said the clothing the two injured boys wore as they arrived at Our Lady of Lourdes matched the description of people Fontenot said he had seen on his property earlier that morning.
According to police documents, Fontenot wanted "to only scare the victims, not to inflict bodily harm and/or death."