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Anthony Templet

A Baton Rouge teenager accused of killing his father was indicted Wednesday on second-degree murder — a more serious charge than the manslaughter count on which he was arrested in June. 

Anthony Templet, 17, is accused of retrieving two handguns from his father's bedroom and then firing multiple shots during an argument in their Shenandoah home. He confessed to the shooting in an interview with detectives but claimed his father was the aggressor. 

Templet's attorney, Jarrett Ambeau, has alleged an extensive history of child abuse, which he said could become central to the case. He said Burt Templet had for years isolated his son from other family members, forbid him to attend school and often physically abused him. 

Ambeau said Wednesday his client has been "grossly overcharged." The teen was arrested on one count of manslaughter in June. 

Arrest reports indicate Anthony Templet shot his father in the face after the two started arguing. 

"His father stumbled backwards towards the bathroom, and asked Anthony to stop," deputies wrote in the arrest report. "Anthony stated that he did not comply with his father's plea" and instead fired two more rounds that "caused his father to fall onto the bathroom floor."

The teenager 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. He also described their relationship as dysfunctional.

Ambeau said he's worried the grand jury received limited information about the crime from prosecutors and therefore was unable to make an informed decision. Grand jury proceedings are confidential. 

"It's like that old story that prosecutors can indict a ham sandwich … because they can just tell one side of the story and that equals guilt," he said. "The kid was subjected to systemic abuse his whole life. He's completely messed up about it. If that wasn't told to the grand jury, that's a problem." 

Court records show that Burt Templet's wife had recently accused him of physical abuse. She filed a temporary restraining order against him last November after a particularly violent episode where her lip was busted open and her teeth damaged. She claimed he punched her in the face, then threatened to kill her during an argument, according to the order filed in the 19th Judicial District Court in November.

That case was dropped months later.

District Attorney Hillar Moore III said he has received multiple calls about possible mitigating factors in the case against Anthony Templet, like abuse or neglect, but his office had not been able to corroborate such allegations. He said the grand jury was presented with all the evidence that has surfaced in the case and decided that second-degree murder was the appropriate charge. 

Ambeau accused prosecutors of failing to honor an agreement the two sides had discussed earlier in the day that would have delayed the grand jury decision to allow more time for collection of evidence. He said prosecutors went ahead and presented the case to the grand jury anyway, saying they displayed "grossly unprofessional behavior" in doing so.

Moore responded to the accusations, saying it was a question of timing. He said his office hadn't received a signed waiver from defense attorneys in time to implement the delay. 

Moore said his office will continue to review evidence and could ask the grand jury to reconsider its indictment in the future based on new revelations. 

Email Lea Skene at lskene@theadvocate.com.