A second man has been convicted in the February 2015 slaying of a man at his Lake Arthur home.
Jefferson Davis Parish District Attorney Michael Cassidy said that Brett Hebert, 30, pled guilty to manslaughter in the killing of Charles Raymond Talen. He was sentenced to 36 years in prison.
Hebert admitted that he and Roderick Cawthorne, Jr. went to the home of Mr. Talen on Pom Roy Road west of Lake Arthur on February 20, 2015, and confronted Mr. Talen, and ultimately killed him. They stole a safe and left in Mr. Talen’s vehicle, Cassidy said.
In his guilty plea, Hebert once again confirmed the identity of who drove them to the scene, who picked them up near Gueydan, who helped open the safe and then dispose of it, and how they disposed of the evidence and the gold coins retrieved from the safe. Hebert confirmed that he cooperated with law enforcement officials without any plea offer on the table, Cassidy said.
Hebert also testified at the grand jury proceeding in the case without a plea deal. The DA’s Office did guarantee a lesser sentence if he testified truthfully against Cawthorne, Cassidy said.
Hebert testified at the Cawthorne trial and was prepared to testify at the trial of two other co-defendants, Vaughn Robinson and Carlos Daniels.
Based upon the plea agreement, Judge Gunnell accepted the plea of guilty, and sentenced him to serve 36 years in prison.
Two of Talen’s children were satisfied with the plea and the sentence. However, Talen’s son, Charles Raymond Talen II, requested the Judge deny the plea agreement and require a trial on second degree murder; however, the Judge said that Hebert was a key witness in the other cases, and that Hebert upheld his end of the agreement, and since a second degree murder conviction would result in an automatic sentence of life imprisonment under the law, that would violate the agreement of Hebert receiving a sentence lesser than Cawthorne.
Cawthorne was tried and convicted of second degree murder and obstruction of justice. He received a sentence of life imprisonment on the murder charge and 40 year in prison on the obstruction charge.
Carlos Daniels pled guilty to obstruction of justice and received 9 years in prison, with all but 6 years suspended.
Vaughn Robinson pled guilty to obstruction of justice and was sentenced to 11 years in prison with all but 9 years suspended.