Last Modified: Friday, August 16, 2013 9:54 AM
Authorities will not continue to pursue charges against three men accused in a death at a New Year’s Eve party, District Attorney John DeRosier said at a news conference Thursday.
Brian Diamond, Steven B. Ellis and Kawliger L. Connelly were all charged with manslaughter after Matthew V. Crochet, 36, died of head injuries after a fight in the early hours of Jan. 1 at a home on S. Perkins Ferry Road.
Authorities said at the time the fight may have been spurred by inappropriate sexual contact between Crochet and a juvenile at the home.
Charges were put before a grand jury twice, but the panel both times could not make a decision whether to indict the men, DeRosier said.
The grand jury had the option to indict the men on charges ranging from aggravated battery to second-degree murder, he said.
The District Attorney’s Office was “not even close to obtaining an indictment from a grand jury,” DeRosier said.
The cases will only be reopened if new evidence arises, he said. The state has six years from the date of the offense to prosecute the men.
Authorities responding around 2:30 a.m. Jan. 1 reportedly found Crochet lying on the ground unresponsive. He was taken to a Lafayette hospital, where he died the next day.
Diamond was initially charged with second-degree battery, but his charges were upgraded to manslaughter after Crochet died. Ellis and Connelly were also arrested and charged with manslaughter.
DeRosier would not confirm whether the fights stemmed from a sex crime, but did say that “some of the actions here were precipitated by the actions of the victim, and certainly the grand jury was aware of whatever those may have been.”
“I certainly, certainly do not condone the actions of the defendants in this case, but this is our system and the grand jury system is a fair and appropriate system,” DeRosier said.
“If a person feels like somebody has done something to them, we have a system for that and they should report that instead of taking matters into their own hands,” Calcasieu Sheriff Tony Mancuso said.
“I would urge people that that’s what they should do; they should trust in the system. It doesn’t work perfectly all the time, but it works and I would ask that people trust in that system.”
Diamond and Crochet reportedly were involved in a fight inside the home and Diamond told Crochet to leave. Crochet reportedly began to leave, then got out of his car, after which the second fight took place.
DeRosier said it was difficult for the coroner to determine whether injuries suffered in the first fight or the second resulted in Crochet’s death.
“I think it’s unfortunate that this even happened,” Mancuso said. “Sometimes things get out of hand and it’s unfortunate. This is our system and it’s the best system in the world and grand jury felt this was not indictable at this time and we’re OK with that. Unless new evidence comes forward, we’ll consider this matter closed.”
Posted By: Gods child On: 9/5/2013
Title: MAtthew Crochets family and friends are as guilty as he was
Matthew Crochet was sent to trial alright. He had to face the Lord and answer to HIM for what he did or did not do and Im betting he was sentenced to eternity burning in hell. The Crochet family is partially responcible and they are taking their anger out on everyone. Did the Crochet family keep Matthew in church and did they have family bible study. Did they and his friends lead him to the Lord so that the Lord could save him from his sins or did they encourage him to drink, curse, molest? Oh you say drinking is ok, etc but no one encouraged the molestation? Think again. If you encourage immoral behavior it snowballs. You gave him the green light to party, drink and stray from God if he was ever with God to start with. So, those that knew him, blame yourself. To remain silent about behavior and not seek the Lord is giving approval thereby encouraging evil behavior so, basically you helped Matthew right in to hell for eternity.Grow up and realize you had a responcibility to this man and to God and you FAILED.
Posted By: Marcie On: 8/23/2013
Title: P.Q.you are right and they will never answer it
P.Q.said asked it right. When is someone going to explain the "conspiracy" theories and how a bunch of random citizens from the public were paid off and by whom to squeak this by? What did the DA go in there and say, look I'll make a deal with all of you? What does the DA gain from this, how are these 3 men so connected to govt and big brother that they could walk from murder at the drop of a hat? Seems they didn't have that good of connections, they were arrested, and have been sitting in jail until two grand juries (public citizens) said let them go their actions were just.
SO SOMEONE WANT TO CHIME IN AND LAYOUT THE CONSPIRACY TO LET MURDERERS GO? WANT TO EXPLAIN HOW THEY BOUGHT THEIR WAY OUT? Didn't think so. If anyone wants to point fingers do them at your fellow neighbor citizen, he/she could have been on the grand jury that made the decision. As stated in these comments by several others, citizens of Calcasieu Parish declined the charges against these men, not the DA.
Posted By: P.Q. On: 8/22/2013
Title: Buy their way out?
I would like to hear the conspiracy theory on how someone found out who was on the grand jury because it is unknown to the public and then how did they buy all of them.
Posted By: Smdh On: 8/22/2013
Just goes to show how people can buy their way out of anything with right amount of money... Good lesson to teach kids today... These men have to live with blood on their hands. I pray for all parties involved.
Posted By: Brooke Fontenot On: 8/22/2013
Title: My cousin, my protector, my family
I am one of the cousins of Matthew V Crotchet! His mom and my mom are sisters, and they're more of us. Our family is not a number many people have in there's. idk how anyone else's family are but our family bondage is like no other. We love unconditionally,we care hard, and we have our God in our hearts! We spend so much time together that everyone always thought ,if didnt know us we were best friends who all grew up together or we were brothers and sisters b/c that is how close our family is. People do have their opinions & I can't change everyone's mind on the maitter! But let me say this!
The people who voice their opinion about my cousin and saying these negative things, shame on you! You were not there, you have know clue, and you have know idea what EXACTLY happen at that party except that there was children at a party with adults who were partying for New Years! There was fighting! And one kind hearted, generous, respectful, soldier, human being, COUSIN, BROTHER, IN-LAW, SON, NEPHEW, UNCLE, GODCHILD, FRIEND, HUSBAND, & FATHER OF TWO WONDERFUL AND BEAUTIFUL GIRLS was killed.
You post your comments and talk amongst yourselves to others, and to me that's whatever because people there is a judgement in a higher power and that's what will matter!
You say all these negative things but feel sorry for everyone in this situation??? Hmmmm your not sorry, so don't pretend! Don't pretend you know how it feels to get a phone call five hours away from home saying that my couson(my gentle giant, my hulk, my protector) was killed on the first day of the new year for 2013! Don't pretend you know how my cousin-in-law (Matt's wife) feels. Don't pretend you know how my aunt, uncle, his brothers, his sister, his in laws, his daughters, his nieces and nephews, his aunts and uncles, his grandparents, his cousins, his friends, HIS ENTIRE FAMILY FEELS! His youngest daughter wontc have her dad cheering for her at her competitions anymore who stood by her side every competition, his oldest daughter who is now a senior in high school and can't share that moment on senior night or prom night with her father! Holidays will never be the same because of the decisions these three men made!
The system has laws, rules, and all that stuff to follow and I understand that! Justice will hopefully turn around in Matthews favor! So our family and our friends will keep praying and stand by one another's side through this and we will overcome the negativity! We love you forever and always MVC!
Posted By: D. Rowell On: 8/18/2013
Title: Got Values?
Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, so here's mine. How about the child in this incident, what if the guy did molest or rape her? Chances are he could of but the full details of this case will never be known. So now this girl has to go the rest of her life with these two horrible events (both on the same night) permanently imprinted upon in her mind. So I say she is the real victim in this case but, so are the other four to. Because of this man's sickend conditioned mind and the choice he made, everyone involved suffers from it, including the public. Girl suffers, the 3 guys suffer, the one dead suffers, all their family suffers, their employers suffer the lose of a worker which then affects the economy, we pay tax to imprison these guys, tempers flare bc the public is so divided over every little thing whether good or bad, yada yada yada, and the list keeps going with reprocussions from this one incident all bc this man decided a juvenile female was his to take advantage of and that her life and her body was not sacred and didn't matter all bc he saw it that way. I'm so sick of these monsters out there that feel that children are theirs to infict their will upon and that kids are powerless toys, I personally hope and pray that everyone of these pediphilic jerks male/female, young/old are caught and done away with forever. If she was my kid or someone else's I would have done the same as these three guys and wouldnt think twice about it. So what if I'd go to jail for it, at least I'd know his sick self wouldn't be able to touch or ruin another child's life again. So to those who believe the system failed or that this was a deal? I say it turned out pretty good yet some where out there is gonna be someone that's always got to be offened over any little thing and say some dumb remark or sue or start a so called protest bc somebody dosent agree or feel a great injustice has been purposely done to them or its not fair, how about looking at the big picture for once. There is so much hate in this world it has blinded and seperated more people and familys than ever before. Go back to the early days of this country and research an event like this and see what the outcome was, when something like this occurred the perp was dealt with right then and there. Its bc back then, there was values and morales in the community as a whole and people like a pediphile didn't where shot and done away with by the victims family and would put a stop to this mess. But now days, even the creepiest of the creeps has rights bc well maybe he had a hard life, or maybe he was raised wrong, etc, so lets hope he don't do it again. How about he'll never be able to touch a child again! That sounds better. This country has become the devils play ground as far as I'm concerned and the people have had a great big curtain pulled over their eyes, tricked by the biggest deciever in the world and its being done right in front of this countrys citizens little by little its almost unnoticeable. All I can say is that this country is going down and down fast. We are all part of it, and it will take all of us to fix it. We all have our own opinions which are crafted out of own beliefs but its what you choose to belief and stand for is what makes the difference. How many more children have to be preyed upon before we stop all the nonsense hating and complaining and work together to save these kids from this kind of evil. Kids come first, they are innocent and deserve to live without someone taking it from them bc its what happens and impressed upon them as a child is how they will live and believe as an adult. So I say to those three men who were accused in this case, ( thanks for sticking to your values and protecting our kids from this guy.
Posted By: Kim Adie On: 8/17/2013
Title: What part of this do is not clear?
Not sure what part of this is not clear to folks. The DA did his job and presented the case to a grand jury twice and both grand juries voted not to pursue charges against the men. So unless there was a "DEAL" made with these average citizens of the parish that were selected for grand jury, then it begs the question, what are you people not clear about. Mr. Johnson (in comments) nailed it. Your very own neighbors within our parish who were ordered by jury duty to sit on a grand jury decided they didn't want these men facing charges TWICE. That takes ALL the power away from the DA's office to do anything, regardless of the men technically violated the law as it pertains to murder. The DA can't do anything
Posted By: Justice On: 8/17/2013
Why isn't the DA pursuing this any further? Could it be favors being made, maybe? The DA has had no problem pursuing every minor crime that has taken place in the parish. It's sad to think you can beat someone to death in Calcasieu parish and get away with it.
Posted By: Carrie On: 8/17/2013
It's a shame these three men got away with murder. There were deals made. What more evidence did they need? There's a dead man and three men who beat him to death. It should have been a cut and dry case, but unfortunately it wasn't. These three men might not pay for what they did here on earth, but they will in hell.
Posted By: Medgar Johnson On: 8/16/2013
Title: IT IS THE PUBLIC NOT THE D.A.
People, once a Grand Jury decides NOT to bring a person to trial the DA can't do anything. He sent it to the Grand Jury TWICE! both times they rejected any charges against the suspects. Who is the grand jury you ask? US, the public, made up of ordinary everyday working folks. This is quite possibly a case of where the average citizen (who is on the grand jury) decided that this guy being caught in a minor girls room being a pedophile in action was sufficient enough for him to get his butt whipped badly that if he died so be it. You can not blame the DA on this it is the justice system. In this case the people, let me say again, THE PEOPLE of Calcasieu Parish have spoken. The DA can't being fourth a case that is rejected by not 1 but 2 grand juries. The bottom line is if the PUBLIC ie... grand jury, believe a persons actions were ok, and refuse to indict them then regardless of those actions even murder that person can get away with it. In this case the PUBLIC felt that the victim brought his death upon himself. No one is saying it is right or wrong for that matter, but our VERY OWN CITZENS OF CALCASIEU PARISH MADE THIS DECISION not the D.A.'s Office. Once the Grand jury made this decision it was out of the DA's hands. He felt they technically violated the law of murder and wanted a trial, but the PUBLIC (grand jury) felt strong enough to not care about the legalities and declined to indict. The DA sent it to the Grand jury twice and both times to different jurys declined what is he to do, the PUBLIC HAS SPOKEN, they don't want these men indicted for this.
Posted By: Danielle On: 8/16/2013
I am appaulled that these three men are not being charged for beating a man to death when David Nelson has to spend thirty years in jail for ONE punch that killed Chad Heath at a Sulphur strip club. There are a few reasons why I believe there were deals cut under the table. First, the DA stated that the coroner couldn't determine what caused Matt's death, the first fight or the second fight. Well, it's not too hard to figure out that the second fight killed him because he walked away and was coherent from the first fight. Secondly, the suppose inappropriate behavior between Matt and the teenager girl should have never been brought up by Mancuso because Matt is not here to defend himself and how do we know these three guys didn't say this to cover themselves. Why not call the police on Matt? If someone innappropiatly touched one of my minor family members at my home, I would defiantly not ask him to leave. The police would be called and he would be leaving in handcuffs. The story doesn't add up. Bottom line a mans life was taken by these three individuals and these three should pay the price for what they did, but instead corruption in Calcasieu Parish have allowed them to be set free.
Posted By: My thoughts! On: 8/16/2013
Title: Don't judge!!
I know this man and his family and have for
Several yrs and all I have to say is that he would
Never hurt anyone much less kill! Don't judge until u
Know the whole story! That man was a horrible
Man and a pedi file!!! He didn't deserve to die
But he did deserve to get his @@@ handed to him!! ESP
Going to a house that he knew not the owners and be
Well, not sober! Will leave it at that!!!! I prayer for peace
For the diamond family as they have been through HELL!
Posted By: Kat On: 8/16/2013
I am sickened at the fact that killes' have been set free. Reguardless of what may or may not have happened, the man they killed was someone's husband, father, son, brother & friend....he was a human being & these monsters have been set free to do what??? Kill again??? Seriously?? In the United States of America our judicial system is this screwed up!! The people should protest, the family should sue.....I'm shocked & ashamed!
Posted By: Sylvia On: 8/16/2013
What difference does it make if it was the first fight or the second fight? A man was beaten to death and you're ok with that? How sad!
Posted By: Ll On: 8/15/2013
Title: This is sick
It's OK for someone to beat someone to death?!?!?! Your joking right but guess what theirs is a higher court then 14th judicial. Sounds to me like this system failed and people got paid under the table. This is disgusting..... That our system finds this just OK
Posted By: Gail On: 8/15/2013
WTH ????? That's crazy !!!!!
It doesn't matter what the crime,(unless someone's life is in immediate danger), NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO BEAT ANYONE TO DEATH !!!!!!!
Why are you just going to give it up Mr. DA ??
What if this were your son that was beaten, and then died ?? What message is this going to say to PPL who USED TO BE AFRAID OF BEATING PPL ?? You letting them know its ok. NO MATTER WHAT !!!!!!!
It is WRONG FOR YOU OR ANYONE ELSE TO LET THESE MEN WALK !!!!!
Posted By: Bobby Burch On: 8/15/2013
Title: Getting away with MURDER!
I have followed this story for quite some time and I am shocked at this turn of events. Regardless of innuendos and allegations, a man lost his life at the hands of these men. To defer or deny punishment for these individuals is a travesty of justice. Had this occurred in a larger, perhaps more educated city, the outcome would have been much different. I am appalled that a mob can perpetrate cold-blooded murder and return home to their families without as much as a slap on the hand. I only pray that the Crochet family finds peace with this outcome. The O.J. Simpson case WAS AT LEAST brought to trial. Matthew Crochet was denied life and justice. Shame on you, all of you who pretended to participate in this facade of a Grand Jury. Shame!