Seth Fontenot Found Guilty Of Manslaughter
The jury in the Seth Fontenot trial has convicted him of manslaughter for the killing Austin Rivault.
The 10 women and two men of the jury deliberated for two hours this afternoon before delivering the verdict at approximately 5:30. He was also found guilty of two charges of aggravated battery for shooting and injuring Cole Kelley and William Bellamy.
The state prosecutors were seeking a first-degree murder charge for the Feb. 10, 2013 shooting that occurred near Fontenot's home killing Rivault and injuring Kelley and Bellamy. State prosecutor Assistant District Attorney J.N. Prather said the state the state was pleased with the homicide charge of manslaughter.
"The state's very pleased," Prather told reporters. "The jury was attentive. It's a murder conviction and we're good."
The victims' families gave no comment as they were leaving the courthouse, but quickly walked by with somber faces, some of anger.
Fontenot's family flanked defense attorneys Thomas Guilbeau and Katherine Guillot exitting the courthouse, but gave no statements either. Guilbeau said this case was, in his mind, never a first- or second-degree murder case.
"They came back with the verdict of manslaughter and the verdict of aggravated battery," Guilbeau said. "Which is exactly what we argued to the jury. So we are elated that Seth Fontenot was given that verdict."
Prather said it should take 2-3 months to have Fontenot's sentencing hearing set.