LIVINGSTON PARISH, La. (BRPROUD) — A man accused of a 2019 killing spree in two parishes pleaded guilty in Livingston Parish Wednesday morning.
Dakota Theriot, 24, pled guilty to three counts of first-degree murder in Livingston Parish and was sentenced to serve three life sentences concurrently, according to information from the 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
According to the news release from the District Attorney’s Office, “Theriot will serve five life sentences but will not receive the death penalty.”
“As in any decision made when resolving a case, consideration is given to the victims and their families, the community, and the legal and factual posture of the case in its entirety. The victims’ families have agreed with the defendant’s plea and sentence. We appreciate their patience and cooperation. Mr. Theriot will spend the remainder of his life in prison. Our office has reviewed numerous and extensive psychological records of the defendant setting out a very documented history of his mental illness. Seeking the death penalty, although factually warranted, would lead to protracted and likely never ending litigation for the victims’ families to endure. After much review, discussion, and consideration, we felt this was the best outcome.”District Attorney Scott Perrilloux
In January 2019, Theriot shot his girlfriend, Summer Ernest; her father, Billy Ernest; and his girlfriend’s brother Tanner Ernest, in Walker before driving to Ascension Parish in Billy Ernest’s stolen vehicle.
There, he reportedly killed his father and stepmother, Keith and Elizabeth Theriot, of Gonzales.
He fled the state and was arrested in a Virginia county where he had family ties.
Following a grand jury indictment, the state initially sought the death penalty.
Theriot is being transferred to Ascension Parish for another court appearance.
This is a developing story.