Unrelated party pledges land as show of support
LAFAYETTE — Seth Fontenot met the bail requirements Monday imposed by a state district judge and was released from the Lafayette Parish jail where he’s been held since the Feb. 10 shooting death of a 15-year-old high school freshman.
Attorney Thomas Guilbeau said his client’s family received help from someone they didn’t know who pledged land to help get the 18-year-old out of jail.
Judge Kristian Earles set Fontenot’s bail Thursday at $700,000.
Fontenot was able to post bail with the financial help of “family members, friends and an individual who did not know Seth Fontenot’s family but was moved,” Guilbeau said.
Fontenot was indicted Feb. 21 on one count of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder.
Earles set bail of $500,000 for the murder charge and $100,000 on each of the attempted murder charges.
Fontenot is accused of killing Austin Rivault, a St. Thomas More Catholic High School freshman, and wounding two other 15-year-old boys in the early hours of Feb. 10.
Guilbeau said Fontenot was released at about 1:30 p.m. Monday after family and friends posted a property bond of $631,000. The remainder was in the form of a surety bond, he said.
“They were completely grateful to the people who helped with the property bond,” Guilbeau said.
At the three hearings since Fontenot was arrested, his supporters have packed courtrooms. At the bail hearing Thursday, which took place in a small Lafayette Parish courtroom, numerous Fontenot supporters waited in the halls for word that Earles granted bail.
Among Earles’ conditions for granting bail was that Fontenot surrender his passport, he possess no firearms and he move from his family’s south Lafayette home near the home of Rivault’s family.
According to testimony by his family and statements Fontenot gave police, he was shooting at the tailgate of the fleeing pickup in which Rivault and the other boys were riding.
Lafayette police in an affidavit said Fontenot admitted firing three shots at the truck “he believed to contain suspects” whom he had seen on his property, where his truck had been broken into multiple times.
Police said the shooting happened before 2 a.m. on Feb. 10.