Last Modified: Thursday, September 13, 2012 11:31 AM
Judge Kent Savoie said that sentencing Devin Blake Badon to less than the maximum penalty for negligent homicide allowed him to keep Badon “under my thumb” for a longer period of time.
Savoie sentenced Badon to five years in prison but suspended two of the years for his role in the drive-by shooting death of Stephin Bergeron on La. 27 on April 13, 2011. Badon, who has been in jail 518 days, was credited for time served. Badon also got five years probation, during which time he is to speak to 30 organizations and was told to pay $2,500 to buy a headstone for Bergeron’s grave and $1,000 in court costs.
Prosecutors said that Badon had someone buy bullets and drove David Fontenot to pick up a murder weapon, but that it was Fontenot who actually pulled the trigger.
“I am firmly convinced that Bergeron would be alive today if not for your actions,” Savoie told him.
Savoie said that had he given Badon the maximum, he would have been out in 2 1/2 years then under the control of probation for another 21⁄2 years.
“I think this is actually a better sentence from the judge” because Badon will have to serve time in prison and will have to be on probation longer, Christine Bergeron, the mother of the victim, said after the sentencing.
Badon, 19, pleaded guilty to negligent homicide on June 19 as part of a plea deal. He was originally charged with second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder. He stood trial on those charges, but a mistrial was declared when jurors failed to agree on a verdict after seven hours of deliberation.
At the time of the murder, Badon was on parole in Cameron Parish for simple burglary, Savoie said. Badon has a parole hearing in Cameron Parish on Oct. 22, Savoie said.
Badon asked for Christina Bergeron’s forgiveness and said he prays for the soul of Stephin Bergeron, whom he said he loved like a brother.
“I hope one day you’ll find it in your heart to forgive me,” Badon said.
Badon maintained his innocence, although he said if he had taken more steps, such as not loaning out his truck, Bergeron would still be alive.
Christina Bergeron said Fontenot did not know her son and that it was Badon who led him to her son to kill him.
She said she would not forgive him and that her son did not need Badon to pray for his soul “because my son is in heaven.”
Bergeron said if Badon had loved Stephin like a brother he wouldn’t have left him to die in a ditch. She also said that Badon would never again have the right to call her “mom.”
“To your family, I’m sorry, but the pain they feel isn’t anything compared to the pain I feel,” she said.
She said she begins each morning at the graveside of her son.