Last Modified: Monday, September 30, 2013 10:48 AM
A judge in state district court ordered a man charged with second-degree murder not to contact alleged victims or witnesses involved in the case.
Judge Kent Savoie issued a protective order to David Caleb Fontenot, 23, telling him not to make contact by mail, email or phone and not to have others contact them for him.
Fontenot is charged with second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder.
Authorities have accused Fontenot of killing Stephin Bergeron, 20, in a 2011 drive-by shooting off La. 27 in Carlyss.
Fontenot is scheduled to go to trial Dec. 2.
Bergeron’s mother told local media in July that Fontenot had sent her a letter. Her daughter said Fontenot proclaimed his innocence in the letter.
Savoie said he requested Fontenot be brought before him because he had received complaints from Bergeron’s mother and two other people involved in the case.
“I wrote one letter. That’s it,” Fontenot told Savoie.
Savoie told Fontenot that should there be further contact, he would not allow Fontenot to speak with anyone but his attorney.
Fontenot told Savoie he could not be responsible for others’ actions, but the judge said he wanted to make sure no one else was making contact “at your direction.”
Savoie said he would not punish Fontenot for the letter he admitted to writing, but “I’m telling you don’t do it again.”
At one point, Fontenot was taken from the courtroom to the holding area. It appeared security had to physically return him to the courtroom.
There was also some confusion as to who is representing Fontenot. Michael McHale, who was representing Fontenot, is no longer under contract with the Public Defenders Office as conflict counsel.
Savoie asked Robert Shelton to assist Fontenot on Friday. Shelton has returned to the PDO as conflict counsel.
The PDO contracts conflict attorneys for cases with more than one defendant.
Devin Badon pleaded guilty to negligent homicide in June. Prosecutors claim Badon helped obtain a gun and bullets, but that it was Fontenot who pulled the trigger.
In January, Fontenot acquired a new charge of solicitation of murder. Authorities said jail officials overheard Fontenot on a jail phone trying to hire someone to kill a witness.