NewsCalcasieu Parish


Tezeno's family attorney asks for information from the public

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Posted at 4:37 PM, Jul 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-18 17:37:05-04

The attorney for the family of a college student who was fatally shot by a homeowner earlier this month is asking the public for information about the incident.

Joseph Tezeno, 21, was a student at McNeese State University. He was shot and killed outside a home in south Lake Charles on July 5. At the time, the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff said Tezeno was under the influence of something and had tried to get into a home. The homeowner shot Tezeno, the sheriff said. To date, no charges have been filed. To read our story about what the Sheriff said, click here.

Today, attorney Todd Clemons issued a release, disputing the characterization of events provided by the sheriff and asking for information from the public.

"Our unarmed client was brutally shot and killed by a homeowner in south Lake Charles on July 5, 2022. Joseph Tezeno was a 21-year-old student at McNeese State University, and he did not have a criminal record. He was attending a college party in the area. He was a truly gentle soul. Unfortunately, he was intoxicated and inadvertently walked onto the wrong property. However, trespassing by a young black man should not result in a death sentence. All indications thus far are that this cold-blooded killing could have been averted. Joseph’s family and friends are still grieving and desperately seeking answers, which have been very difficult to obtain thus far," the release states. "Joseph’s mother has retained us to ensure that this matter is thoroughly, fairly, and impartially investigated. We will ensure that the District Attorney’s Office objectively review this matter before a charging decision is made. Joseph’s family and friends can handle the truth. However, they are concerned that the powers that be will not seek the complete truth. We will ensure that the authorities do not rush to judgment. Joseph’s killer still has not been identified by the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office. If the investigation reveals that he is culpable or liable to any degree, it is our mission to see that he is held accountable for his actions. Both in the criminal as well as the civil courts of law."

Clemons is asking "anyone with any information regarding his tragic and unnecessary killing, please contact our office."

Clemons' practice currently focuses on criminal defense, post-conviction relief and general civil litigation. However, he also served many years prosecuting cases as an Assistant District Attorney in Calcasieu Parish and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney.