BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A teen accused of killing his father pleaded not guilty Monday, Aug. 26 to a second degree murder charge.
At first, 17-year-old Anthony Templet faced a manslaughter charge in the death of his father, Burt, back in June, but an East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury recently indicted him on second degree murder charges. Family members say Burt was violently abusive.
The teenager allegedly told investigators he and his father got into a fight and his father was drunk and aggressive. Anthony grabbed two guns to protect himself and eventually shot his father, deputies said.
Defense attorney, Jarrett Ambeau, who is representing Templet free of charge, was outraged by the decision to bring the matter to a grand jury. Ambeau says he previously waived his client’s right to a speedy trial and reached an agreement with the district attorney’s office to delay the matter going before a grand jury until he had more time to gather evidence on behalf of his client.
“It was grossly unprofessional for them to bring this to a grand jury,” Ambeau said. “And he’s being grossly overcharged. I’d love to know what they told the grand jury. Did they tell them the door to the bedroom had a hole in it and had been knocked off the hinges?”
Templet was asleep in his room when his father drunkenly woke him up, according to investigators. An argument ensued and Templet says his father began acting aggressively and initiated a physical altercation that ended in the 17-year-old fatally shooting his father.
Defense attorney, Louis Unglesby, who is not affiliated with the case, says if what has been reported is true, it appears that when Anthony shot and killed his father he was acting in defense of his life.
"Preservation is instinctive and then when you have abuse, whether it be psychological abuse, verbal abuse, or certainly physical abuse or a combination of them then you have fear, and when you have someone that lives in fear, their reactions, depending on the circumstances, are going to be different than someone who has lived a rational happy life,” Unglesby said.
Anthony’s sister told WAFB both she and her brother witnessed their father violently abuse their mother and said when he was a baby “his father would hold him while he was abusing my mother.”