Posted: Feb 20, 2013 4:21 PM
Updated: Feb 20, 2013 4:30 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.