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Anthony Templet

An attorney for the 17-year-old arrested in his father's slaying earlier this month claims there is an extensive history of child abuse that could impact the case's outcome.

Attorney Jarrett Ambeau said Anthony Templet's father, Burt Templet, had for years isolated the boy from other family members, did not allow him to attend school and often physically abused him.

Anthony Templet, whom Ambeau represents, was arrested in the June 3 death of his father, who was fatally shot in their Shenandoah home during a 3 a.m. argument, officials have said. 

Court records show that Burt Templet had recently been accused of physical abuse. In November, his wife filed a temporary restraining order against him after a particularly violent episode where her lip was busted open and her teeth damaged. His wife claimed he punched her in the face, then threatened to kill her during an argument, according to the temporary restraining order filed in the 19th Judicial District Court in November. She wrote that Burt Templet had also punched her son in the head during a prior event; however, she did not mention Anthony Templet. 

Burt Templet's wife later dropped the case against him in January. 

Ambeau also said Anthony Templet's mother, who lives in Texas, has not been in contact with him for more than a decade since he had moved with Burt Templet against her wishes. Family court records in Baton Rouge show a custody case for the child in 2007; however, it's unclear from those records exactly how the case was settled. 

“I don’t have the full story yet, but we are gathering that information," Ambeau said. “There was definitely regular abuse going on: physical, mental, emotional."

East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore III said he has received multiple calls about the case and about possible mitigating factors, like abuse or neglect, which are weighed more heavily in cases where the defendant is under the age of 18. However, Moore said his office has not been able to corroborate such allegations. 

Moore did note that Anthony Templet was arrested on a count of manslaughter, a less serious charge than second- or first-degree murder. 

"Something's going on," Moore said. He said his office remains open to any information relevant to the case.

Anthony Templet has not yet been formally charged in the case, but Moore said they will likely present all the relevant information to a grand jury, which will determine what charges are appropriate. The 17-year-old is currently being held on $100,000 bail. 

Templet is accused of retrieving two handguns from his father's bedroom and then firing multiple shots at his father during an argument, according to the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office arrest report. The teen confessed to the shooting in an interview with detectives, but he also claimed his father was the aggressor. Detectives noted that Anthony Templet was not injured during the argument. 

Templet locked himself in his father's bedroom, where he took two handguns. He told detectives the second gun "was insurance in the event the other handgun malfunctioned," the report says. 

His father banged on the bedroom door, at which point Anthony Templet unlocked the door and "immediately shot his father once with a revolver," the arrest report states. His father asked him to stop but the teen told detectives he disregarded his father's plea and fired two more rounds. Templet then called 911 and reported that he had shot and killed his father.

When later questioned about the shooting, he told detectives his father didn't threaten him and was unarmed, but he also described their relationship as dysfunctional.

“At the end of the day," Ambeau said, "what I feel like is really going on here is the system failed this young man. He was in the family court system, he was lost in there somehow … and now the very same system is trying to put him away. It's frustrating to me as a father, as a citizen."

Email Grace Toohey at gtoohey@theadvocate.com.