NewsSt. Landry Parish


Eunice man convicted of murder in slaying of his wife - again

Posted at 3:38 PM, Apr 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-15 11:23:43-04

A St. Landry Parish jury has convicted a Eunice man of murder in the slaying of his wife - again.

The jury decided that Robert Lee Heard Jr. was guilty of second-degree murder in the September 2012 death of his wife, Demetra L. Doyle.

Doyle was stabbed and burned.

A conviction of second-degree murder carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence.

Heard already was convicted of Doyle's murder back in 2017, but because a Supreme Court decision was entitled to a second trial. The jury in his first trial found him guilt via vote of 10-2; this second jury was unanimous.

"Violent crime is being prosecuted in St. Landry Parish and we are not slowing down," said District Attorney Chad Pitre. "The state presented sufficient evidence to prove that Mr. Heard intentionally killed his wife in a most heinous way. Hopefully this verdict will bring some amount of closure to the victim's family."

Heard, who Pitre said has an extensive criminal history, is accused of stabbing Doyle more than 40 times before setting her body on fire. They'd been married only four months.

Heard was convicted in 2017, but by a jury verdict of 10 to 2. This time, the verdict was unanimous, as is required by a Supreme Court decision. Since that decision meant Heard was entitled to another trial, he got one, Pitre said.

The Eunice Police Department investigated the crime, and Assistant District Attorney Don Richard prosecuted the case, Pitre said.