Apr 8, 2011 7:40 PM by Carolyn Cerda
A jury in Evangeline Parish finds 34 year old Ordesto Toussaint guilty of 2nd degree murder. He was charged with three counts: 2nd degree murder, theft of a vehicle and simple arson. The charges were all in connection with the murder of 18 year old Elizabeth Fontenot. She was killed in May of 2010. Her body and car were found in two different places.
Prosecutors say Toussaint killed Fontenot by striking her in her head with a cinder block twice. He then took off in Fontenot's car, and torched it. It took the jury just 30 minutes to find him guilty on all three counts.
"That was a very quick verdict which suggests that the evidence was overwhelmingly in favor of the prosecution," said District Attorney, Trent Brignac.
"I wasn't surprised," said defense attorney, Alex Chapman. "The evidence was pretty strong. Then he had four confessions...and we initially tried to have them thrown out on suppression."
The confessions were admissible in court, and that along with other evidence may have led the jury to their guilty verdict.
"Once his DNA was found on the murder weapon and he was not able to explain how his DNA came to be on that murder weapon, which was a cinder block, he was in a box," said Brignac.
"Once the DNA tied him to the scene and once the confession said he did it, even the last confession probably moved it from manslaughter to 2nd degree murder," said Chapman.
2nd degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence. Sentencing will be held May 19th. Toussaint's family says he will appeal the ruling.
"This case is a serious case and should be appealed through a higher court just to make sure everything was done properly," said Chapman.
"Appeal is to be expected," said Brignac. "But I want to be clear that we are very confident that the appellate is going to uphold the ruling. We're very pleased with the verdict. We felt justice was done. We're pleased to be able to bring some closure to the family, at least in the criminal aspect."
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