Lafayette police: Murder suspect’s family had history of break-ins

Seth Fontenot’s mother awakened him just after midnight on Dec. 14 and told him someone was trying to break into his Chevrolet Avalanche outside their Green Meadow Road home, according to Lafayette police records.

The Dec. 14 incident, in which Fontenot chased the would-be robbers, was the third such incident in the past four months involving the family, police and court records show.

Less than two months after the December incident, however, Fontenot was in jail, accused of murder and attempted murder in the Feb. 10 shooting death of high school freshman Austin Rivault and the shootings of two other teens who were riding in a pickup truck and reached a hospital.

Fontenot, a former University of Louisiana at Lafayette accounting student, left the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center on Monday.

Fontenot is now living with a relative outside Lafayette, a bail condition set by state District Judge Kristian Earles that requires Fontenot to leave his family’s home, which sits doors away from the Rivaults’ home, according to court records.

Fontenot’s attorney, Thomas Guilbeau, did not return messages seeking comment this week.

Police have said in an affidavit that Fontenot confessed to firing three shots from his Beretta handgun at a fleeing vehicle “he believed to contain suspects” whom he had seen on his property, where his truck had been broken into multiple times.

The incident took place at 1:45 a.m. on Feb 10.

“Mr. Fontenot stated that his intentions were to only scare the victims, not to inflict bodily harm and/or death,” Detective Larry Theriot wrote in the affidavit.

Rivault was later pronounced dead after a bullet struck the back of his head, Lafayette police and court records indicate.

The other two youths, William Bellamy and Cole Kelley, both 15, were each hit once but survived, police said.

Fontenot was arrested hours later at his workplace, his sister has said.

The Dec. 14 and Feb. 10 incidents, which both occurred after midnight, were the second and third time Fontenot and his family believed someone was trying to rob them, records show.

On Nov. 26, at just before 11 p.m., police were called to the Fontenots’ home in south Lafayette because someone had broken into the family’s Chevrolet Tahoe and stole a black handbag worth $300, records show.

Police records do not indicate whether anyone was arrested in the November and December incidents.

On Feb. 21, Fontenot, 18, was indicted on one first-degree murder charge and two charges of attempted first-degree murder in the Feb. 10 shootings.

Thirteen people, mostly family members, pledged property to help Fontenot post bail of $700,000, court records show.

Fontenot’s mother and stepfather, Brooke and Derrick Talbot, testified at his bond hearing that they heard the 1:45 a.m. shots, and that Fontenot told them he believed the bullets hit the tailgate of the truck.