Nov 14, 2013 7:28 PM by Erin Steuber
It's a case that's already taken 9 months, and Thursday, only more delays in the Seth Fontenot murder trial. It was pushed back again, and a new judge assigned to the case.
As you recall, Fontenot is charged with first-degree murder, and two counts of attempted first-degree murder, after firing a gun at a pick-up truck killing 15-year-old Austin Rivault, and injuring two others.
Since the beginning of the Seth Fontenot murder case, one judge has been overseeing everything, but that's about to change. After ruling the trial will not begin until at least 2014, Judge Kristian Earles announced he will no longer be at the Lafayette Parish Courthouse, and the case will be turned over to Judge Edward Rubin. Earles says, his new assignment, because of the judicial lottery, has him moving to Acadia Parish as of January 1st. But that was not the only thing addressed Thursday.
It was a heated day in court, starting with Fontenot's attorney, Tommy Guilbeau, requesting the entire proceeding be done behind closed doors in fear that certain things revealed would harm his case. The judge quickly denied the request, and moved through several motions that were filed by both sides. Several photos, including those of the truck and autopsy, were approved to be used in trial. Text messages sent by Fontenot are also being allowed into trial. The messages reference his gun, and there's also a text that, the prosecution says, alludes to the fact Fontenot would shoot those responsible for vandalizing his truck. The defense says the victims in this case were allegedly trying to burglarize Fontenot's truck, but the state says there is no evidence proving that. And according to Judge Earles, while it's on record, that will not be used in trial.
During a recess Fontenot sat with his parents, breaking down into tears, as they tried to console him. He was overheard telling his mother he was sorry. Several other supporters were praying quietly the entire time.
Also in court, the family and friends of 15- year old Austin Rivault and the two teens who were injured. They were all wearing pins with Rivault's picture.
Fontenot is facing another charge next month for allegedly selling his Adderall to two other UL students. Judge Earles ruled Thursday that will not be admissible in the on-going murder trial.