Families of slain St. John deputies frustrated over lack of justice

Families of St. John deputies say they're waiting for justice

The families of two St. John Parish deputies shot and killed six years ago during an ambush said Monday they are still waiting for justice. And they said they are not happy with a decision affecting one of the alleged shooters.

"Today would have been Jeremy's 34th birthday, he was killed on the 16th of August 2012 and we actually buried him on his birthday which would have been his 28th birthday," said Edie Triche, mother of slain Deputy Jeremy Triche, who was killed on a steamy day in August 2012.

Deputy Triche and fellow St. John Parish Deputy Brandon Nielsen died after authorities said they were ambushed in a LaPlace trailer park.

The passage of time has not erased the pain their death caused loved ones.

"His son brightens my day. It's very hard getting up in the morning and knowing that if I go out that back door I know what I'm faced with, you know, living so close to the crime scene it's difficult but I swallow it, and you know, I have to live on because that's what he would have wanted me to do," said Mrs. Triche.

Her son was gunned down near the family's home.

"He lived his life, but now over the past six years is what would have been different, you know, you smile and you don't know what would have transpired over the six years with the family, friends and what-not going on, I think I look at that and wonder most often," said Michael Triche, father of the late Deputy Triche.

While nothing will bring the couple's son back, the Triche's had hoped they would have received something else by now.

"Justice, and we still haven't gotten it, you know, after six years it still, still lingers," said Mrs. Triche.

They said one of the men charged with first degree murder in their son's death and the death of the other officer was recently declared incompetent to stand trial.

"Brian Smith, one of the shooters has been ruled incompetent, as Jeremy's mom and my heart, I can say he was competent enough to pull that trigger, he should be competent enough to stand trial, so now everything is put on hold," said Mrs. Triche.

"It's been dragging on as we feel for six years, every time we go into a hearing it's like pulling a scab off and we're starting over again," added her husband.

The wife of the other slain officer, Daniell Nielsen Jenkins, who has since remarried shared a message on Facebook which reads in part:

"Since that day so many years ago, I know many of you think those 'guys' are serving time and have gotten punished for the pure evil they possess...but the truth is they have not. The first shooter, Brian Smith, was just found 'incompetent to stand trial' and is being transferred to a mental health facility until (if ever) he is found competent to stand trial and take responsibility for his actions."

"Hopefully, at some point in time this comes to a close and we can start having closure for Jeremy and Brandon's death," said Mr. Triche.

"I had put his little son on the school bus today and he turned around and told he, he said Grammy, just remember it's daddy's birthday today. I said I know baby, I know," said Mrs. Triche.

Kyle Joekel, the other man accused in the shootings is to be tried separately.

No one from the St. John District Attorney's Office, or the judge handling the case responded to requests for comment for this news report.

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