Lafayette prosecutor want appellate court to review 13-month prison sentence in fatal shooting



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LAFAYETTE, Louisiana — An appellate court has been asked to review the 13-month sentence Seth Fontenot received in July for killing one teen and wounding two others

Lafayette Parish prosecutor called the sentence "illegal and illegally lenient."

J.N. Prather Jr., an assistant district attorney for Lafayette Parish, said in papers filed with the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal that the justice Judge Ed Rubin meted out in the Fontenot case didn't come close to the justice the victims' families deserved.

Convicted in March of manslaughter in the February 2013 shooting death of 15-year-old Austin Rivault, The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1KPNXcK) Fontenot faced up to 40 years in prison. Fontenot also faced up to 10 years for the two aggravated battery convictions for wounding the other teens.

Prather on Wednesday said that 3rd Circuit judges themselves could impose a stiffer sentence on Fontenot, but he acknowledged that direct sentencing by appellate judges is rare.

Prather acknowledged that an order from the appellate court directing Rubin to resentence Fontenot was a long shot.

"I think we owe it to the victims to exhaust all remedies to get an appropriate sentence imposed," he said. "Thirteen months is a miscarriage of justice."

On Wednesday afternoon, Fontenot's attorney, Thomas Guilbeau, had not filed a response to Prather's pleadings to the 3rd Circuit.

Prather, in his argument to 3rd Circuit justices, said Rubin was ethically and procedurally wrong in handing down his sentence: A corrected sentence should have added on the 23 suspended months in the original sentence and also the two years of probation, making Fontenot's jail term five years.

Prather on Wednesday said getting Fontenot resentenced to the five years he called for in the court document was also a long-shot.


Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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