FROM THE TWELFTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF AVOYELLES,
NO. 2018-CR-205930-B HONORABLE WILLIAM J. BENNETT, DISTRICT
L. Higgins, III COUNSEL FOR: Defendant/Appellant - Jesse E.
Ducote a/k/a Jesse Ducote
Charles A. Riddle, III District Attorney - Twelfth Judicial
District COUNSEL FOR: Plaintiff/Appellee - State of Louisiana
Anthony F. Salario First Assistant District Attorney COUNSEL
FOR: Plaintiff/Appellee - State of Louisiana
composed of Ulysses Gene Thibodeaux, Chief Judge, Phyllis M.
Keaty, and Candyce G. Perret, Judges.
ULYSSES GENE THIBODEAUX CHIEF JUDGE
Jesse Ducote, was indicted for one count of negligent
homicide of Jake Ducote in violation of La.R.S. 14:32. On the
day set for trial, he entered a plea of guilty, and the trial
court ordered a Pre-Sentence Investigation Report (PSI).
Following the sentencing hearing, Jesse was sentenced to
the maximum of five years imprisonment. He filed a motion to
reconsider sentence alleging that the sentence was excessive.
A resentencing hearing was conducted, and the five-year
sentence was affirmed.
appeal, Jesse asserts that the maximum sentence is excessive
and should be reduced. For the following reasons, this court
affirms the five-year sentence.
decide whether the trial court abused its discretion in
sentencing Jesse Ducote to the maximum sentence of five years
in the Louisiana Department of Corrections for the crime of
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
November 21, 2017, Jesse spent the day with his good friend
Jake. The two young men ran various errands together, which
included shooting an AR-15 rifle recently purchased by Jesse
at a gun show. Some time that evening, Jesse arrived at the
home Jake shared with his girlfriend Mallory Lambert. While
Jake was sitting in the living room, Jesse went outside to
his truck and took out the gun which he and Jake had shot
earlier that day. The gun fired, and a bullet went through
the window, hitting and killing Jake. Ms. Lambert was
standing in the kitchen when she heard the gunshot and Jesse
screaming to call 911. Initially, Jesse stated that the gun
fell out of his truck and accidentally discharged. However,
Jesse eventually admitted that he and Jake were "goofing
off" through the window, and believing that the gun was
unloaded, Jesse pointed the gun at Jake and pulled the
Avoyelles Parish Sheriff's Office conducted an
investigation of the incident, and arrested Jesse for the
negligent homicide of Jake. A grand jury returned a true bill
of indictment charging Jesse with one count of negligent
homicide, after which he entered a plea of not guilty. On the
day trial was set to begin, Jesse withdrew his plea and
entered a plea of guilty to the offense of negligent
homicide. The court ordered a PSI and remanded Jesse for
sentencing. At the sentencing hearing, the trial court
reviewed the PSI, letters received on behalf of Jesse,
letters from Jake's family, and the police report. The
trial court sentenced Jesse to serve five years in the
custody of the Louisiana Department of Corrections with
credit for time ...