Evangeline Parish District Attorney Trent Brignac’s office has issued the results of a criminal jury trial which began Monday August 22. The trial ended this (Wednesday) morning. The defendant, Samuel LaFleur, age 19, of 1367 Fruge Street, Ville Platte, was found guilty as charged by a six person jury of illegal possession of stolen things valued at $1500 or more and simple criminal damage to property wherein the damage was more than $500 but less than $50,000. The stolen items were found in LaFleur’s home on or about December 20 of last year.
Detective StanleyWashingtonof the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office testified he received a tip that Samuel LaFleur was attempting to sell a stolen television. Upon further investigation, Detective Washington obtained a search warrant for LaFleur’s home. Several items believed to have been stolen were retrieved. Among the items were a Dell laptop, a 72 inch Mistubishi television and a 50 inch Samsung television. When located, the 72 inch television was found to have been damaged.
The crime of illegal possession of stolen things valued at $1500 or more carries a maximum sentence of ten years imprisonment and the crime of simple criminal damage to property carries a maximum sentence of two years imprisonment. Lafleur’s sentencing has been scheduled by District Judge John Larry Vidrine for October 22, 2011at which time Lafleur faces a maximum of 12 years at hard labor.
Lafleur had been previously convicted of burglary and currently has a pending burglary charge, but that information was unable to be presented to the jury because of Louisianatrial procedure rules.
District Attorney Trent Brignac complimeneted lead prosecutor Marcus Fontenot and Tim Fontenot who assisted Fontenot in the prosecution of the case and thanked them for their efforts during the three day trial. Brignac also expressed his appreciation for the excellent investigation by the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Department as well as their professionalism in working with the District Attorney’s Office to present the evidence and testimony at trial.