Man pleads guilty in church vandalism case

By By Johnathan Manning

A man accused of vandalizing four Sulphur churches pleaded guilty in state district court Friday afternoon.

Daniel Wayne Duplechin, 37, pleaded guilty to four counts of simple

burglary of a religious building and admitted to a probation violation,

the deputy clerk of court confirmed.

Duplechin shattered statues at Sulphur churches Our Lady of Prompt

Succor and Our Lady of LaSalette in December 2012. He also vandalized

Henning Memorial United Methodist and Sulphur First Baptist churches. At

the time, Duplechin was on probation for a third-offense DWI, which he

pled guilty to in December 2012.

Duplechin will serve three years on the probation violation, with

credit for time served, the deputy clerk said. Judge Kent Savoie ordered

a pre-sentence investigation on the four burglary charges and set a

sentencing date of April 23.

During a sanity hearing in September, a court psychiatrist testified

that Duplechin said he took intravenous methamphetamine the day before

the incident. Duplechin also told the psychiatrist he saw an image if

the pope being hanged and believed he was being led by God.

Duplechin underwent a sanity commission last year, but was found

mentally competent to stand trial. Two court psychiatrists said

Duplechin suffered from bipolar disorder, exacerbated by substance

abuse.