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Homicide victim's mother concerned after suspects released from custody

Posted at 10:14 PM, Oct 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-30 23:20:15-04

An Opelousas mother has questions about why the suspects accused in her 17-year-old son's homicide were released, concerns when it comes to safety, and an appeal for the judicial system.

Both juveniles involved are facing first degree murder charges but have been released from jail after serving little to no time. The mother of the victim is pleading with local officials to have the teens put in detention centers.

"They have all these juveniles feeling like they can do this and get away with murder.”

It's been three months since Montrell Colla's son, Keon Haynes, was shot and killed. His accused killers are free - at least for now.

"I found out that he was out when we went to court and he had been out almost a week. They never notified us or anything,” said Colla.

Colla has since been in contact with St.Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz, who says what happened is out of his control.

"The judge looks at each individual juvenile and the alleged crime separately and he makes the determination of whether he's going to send them to a center or if he's going to put them on ankle monitoring,” said Guidroz.

Guidroz also notes plans for a juvenile detention center in the parish was shot down several years ago.

"Nobody in the rural areas wanted a juvenile facility so we don't have one. They were released from jail by one of the district judges and they were put on ankle monitoring,” Guidroz added.

Even though Colla can't bring her son back, she wants to be an advocate for other parents who are calling for punishment in cases like Keon's.

"An example needs to be set. There's none, it's time for this to stop,” Colla added.

A hearing for the juveniles is scheduled for November 12th.

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