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Man pleads guilty in church vandalism case

Last Modified: Monday, February 03, 2014 1:19 PM

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.

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