Grand jury to decide fate of man who killed cousin’s kidnapper

A Lafayette Parish grand jury will decide next week whether to charge the man who in November shot to death a kidnapper who abducted his cousin and was stabbing her when her family members found them in a dark, abandoned home in west Lafayette Parish.

Marcus Arceneaux, 23, could be charged for killing Scott Thomas on Nov. 8, but it’s unlikely.

After the multiday ordeal was over, a detective with the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office began a monthslong investigation and handed the report to the District Attorney’s Office.

“In viewing the evidence, I concur with the Sheriff’s Office’s assessment that the matter was a justifiable homicide,” Assistant District Attorney Pat Magee said Wednesday.

“But to ensure its (the legal process) completion, we have decided to submit it to the grand jury as well,” he said.

Magee said he would not release specifics in the report except it concludes the killing of Thomas was justified.

The grand jury is scheduled to convene April 23.

Thomas, of Leonville in St. Landry Parish, was Bethany Arceneaux’s former boyfriend and the father of her child.

The couple was estranged when Thomas abducted Arceneaux Nov. 6 as she arrived at a Madeline Avenue day care to pick up their son. Leaving the boy at the day care, Thomas sped off with the captive Arceneaux in an old, white Buick LeSabre at 5:20 p.m.

Police that night found the car abandoned on Anderson Road west of Scott between U.S. 90 and Interstate 10.

Thomas was holding Arceneaux in an abandoned home with overgrown vegetation not far from the abandoned Buick.

Two days later, the Arceneaux family and friends riding all-terrain vehicles and on foot searched the Anderson Road area along with Lafayette police officers.

Hearing a scream as they searched, several searchers, including Marcus Arceneaux, converged on the abandoned home about noon Nov. 8. Marcus Arceneaux entered the home to find his cousin and Thomas.

Sheriff’s Capt. Kip Judice said that after he was discovered, Thomas started stabbing his former girlfriend.

“(Marcus Arceneaux) shot his handgun several times, apparently striking Thomas multiple times, which allowed Bethany to break free and flee out the back door of the structure,” Judice said.

Thomas bled to death in the home.

Bethany Arceneaux has since moved from her home in Duson. Contacted several times since her ordeal, Arceneaux has told a reporter she’s not ready to talk about her experience.

An Associated Press photo of Arceneaux being pulled out of a vehicle shows her uncle, Marcus Arceneaux, carrying her.

Magee, the Lafayette Parish prosecutor, said the man who shot Thomas was Bethany’s cousin. He said he didn’t know if the younger Arceneaux’s name was Marcus Arceneaux Jr.