Castle hearing motion to recuse Clause in Rivault case
The Lafayette Parish Clerk of Court’s office told The IND that District Judge Marilyn Castle will hear the state’s motion to recuse fellow Judge Herman Clause from the Seth Fontenot case.
Fontenot, 18, is charged in the senseless Feb. 10 early morning shooting that left 15-year-old St. Thomas More student Austin Rivault dead. Two of Rivault’s 15-year-old friends, Cole Kelley of Teurlings Catholic and William Bellamy of STM, were also shot. The incident took place about 1:45 a.m. in the 100 block of Green Meadow Road, located in the Bellevue Plantation subdivision south of the Mall of Acadiana. Fontenot, who lives in the 100 block of Green Meadow Road, faces a first-degree murder count and two counts of attempted first degree murder.
All three teens were in a truck driving down Green Meadow Road when they were shot; Rivault was a passenger, but it’s unclear which of the other two teens was driving. Fontenot told police he wanted to scare the teens and did not intend to kill anyone.
Assistant District Attorney Mark Garber argues in the filing that Clause has shown potential bias in the case. Garber says Clause disclosed in chambers and open court that he has known Kelley’s mother, Cherie Guilbeau Kelley, since she was a child and also previously represented her father, Paul Guilbeau, as his attorney. Garber also says Clause fills his medication at a pharmacy owned by Cherie Kelley. He stipulated that Clause has said he does not recall having had direct contact with Cherie Kelley in more than 20 years.
Additionally, according to Garber's filing, Clause disclosed that he attends church services at the same place of worship as Fontenot's girlfriend.
Court records indicate that Clause signed an order today denying the motion to recuse.
Fontenot’s attorney, Tommy Guilbeau, called the state's action a stall tactic to keep his client in jail. The Wednesday hearing was supposed to be about reducing Fontenot’s bail.
KATC reported that 150 to 200 people showed up for the hearing and were not allowed to leave court once the proceedings began.
Bail is set at $500,000 for each attempted first-degree murder count; there is no bail for first-degree murder. In arguing for a reduction in bail, Guilbeau says there is no evidence his client intended to harm anyone.
After recovering three spent casings in the yard of Fontenot’s residence on Feb. 10, Lafayette Police arrested him at his workplace, Another Broken Egg in River Ranch, just before noon that day. They found a Beretta semiautomatic pistol in his 2007 Chevy truck.
Fontenot admitted the teens were fleeing in their vehicle when he fired three shots.
To post a comment, please log into your IND account. If you do not have an account, click the "register" button to create one. Facebook comments can be used as an alternative to creating an account at theIND.com.
DEC 17 What many suspected has finally be confirmed -- Louisiana has the worst drivers in the Union! This post on a car insurance site ranks drivers in all 50 states based on infractions from running stop signs to drunk driving. Hey, we even beat Texas, and probably on the strength of Baton Rouge drivers alone.
DEC 17 Here's a December wrap-up by Gambit, featuring the top stories, the weird stories, the stupid stories of New Orleans for 2013. Some of them will be pleasant to remember, and others -- not so much. But it's sure worth a read, if for no other reason than to be reminded of why NOLA is such a great place. To visit.
DEC 17 In this post, blogger Robert Mann takes a look at the big ole bag of coal the Legislative Auditor put into little Bobby's stocking Monday. This breaks it down into the high (or maybe the low) points of the report, which as Mann points out verify some of the things he wrote about in his blog earlier this year -- and took a lot of grief over. It's nice to have somebody prove you were right.
DEC 17 Here's a link to the Picayune's obituary for artist George Rodrigue, who died this weekend after a long battle with cancer. There also are links here to the paper's coverage of Rodrigue and his work over the years, including videos and interviews.
DEC 17 Here's a story in the Lens about a competition to gather creative plans for coastal restoration in Louisiana. The $400,000 competition has been under way since this fall, and the semifinalists have been chosen. Those teams will be whittled down in the spring, when several will receive funding to develop their concepts.
DEC 17 Hey, there's no grass growing on the Legislative Auditor's Office. Here's a story in the Picayune about yet another audit released this week faulting a Jindal program. This time, it's a DHH contract, worth more than $350 million, to handle health care for Louisiana residents. The auditor says Jindal's people should have evaluated the contractor's performance before extending the contract. Jindal's people say they hired somebody to evaluate the performance -- but won't be using that to determine a contract extension, because that's already going to happen. Wait -- what?
DEC 17 This AP story out of Pennsylvania tells us that the Coast Guard wants wastewater transporters to use rivers instead of trains. This wastewater is produced by the controversial fracking procedure, and is destined for states that have underground storage facilities - like Louisiana, where everybody's free to dump their hazardous waste, apparently. But hey, those underground storage facilities are perfectly safe. Right, Bayou Corne?
DEC 17 The folks putting on the annual Baton Rouge performance of The Nutcracker are warning ballet-goers to buy their tickets from authorized dealers, because online ticket-sellers are overcharging, the Advocate reports here. Orchestra seats that go for $45 are being offered online for $300, the story says. The show is not sold out, even with the purchases made by the scalpers, the story says.
Read the Flipping Paper!
Click Here for the Entire Print Version of IND Monthly