District attorney to seek death penalty for man accused of killing 5 in Louisiana

March 18 (UPI) — A Louisiana district attorney said Monday that he will seek the death penalty for a man accused of killing five people, including his parents in January.

District Attorney for the 24th Judicial District Court Scott Perrilloux said his office would pursue the case of 21-year-old Dakota Theriot as a capital case and seek the death penalty after he pleaded not guilty to three charges of first-degree murder.

“We’re dealing with something tragic and horrific that took place in this community and now we have to do our job and moving forward that’s what we’ll do. I don’t take any pleasure in accepting a capital case, but again, after reviewing all the circumstances, the facts that we have before us, all the considerations we had to make, and we didn’t make it lightly, we felt like the death penalty was the appropriate course of action,” Perrilloux said.

Perrilloux said he expects Theriot’s attorneys to pursue an insanity defense.

The three murder charges stem from accusations that Theriot killed 20-year-old Summer Ernest, who authorities and her family members have described as his girlfriend, as well as her father, 43-year-old Billy Ernest, and a brother, 17-year-old Tanner Ernest, in Livingston Parish.

“You had three completely innocent victims. By all accounts, no justification or mitigating reasons why this took place,” Perrilloux said.

He was also indicted on two additional first degree murder charges in Ascension Parish for allegedly killing his parents Keith Theriot, 50, and Elizabeth Theriot, 50.

Theriot is next set to appear in court on May 9.

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