Anthony Joseph Templet is the teen featured in the strange murder case from the new Netflix documentary. Templet was 17 when he dialed 911 and told a dispatcher “I just killed my dad.”
When attorneys and investigators began examining his case, they uncovered decades of abuse and domestic violence, and a mother who had been searching for him for years as a missing person.
Templet confessed to shooting his father, Burt Templet, killing him with a gunshot wound to the head. The teen told investigators that he feared for his life and did not known any other way to stop the psychological abuse that included his father surveilling the entire family with cameras. Burt Templet was also convicted of aggravated assault and other serious charges related to the abuse of Templet’s mother, Teresa Thompson.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Templet Is Eligible to Have His Record Expunged If He Meets the Terms of His Release
Templet’s five years of supervised probation came with some uncommon conditions, including a requirement to complete his GED, according to WAFB. His stepmother, Susan Templet, described teaching Anthony Templet basic lessons at age 10 that most children would have learned in kindergarten. She said she taught him how to write his letters and began teaching him math.
Susan Templet said she taught the boy addition, subtraction and multiplication, but when they got to division, Burt Templet told them to stop. He told her his son could just use a calculator for division.
Susan Templet and Peyton Mannino described the toxic and abusive living environment they experienced with Burt Templet. They were constantly watched on cameras and through other tracking devices. Susan Templet said her husband received notifications on his phone that her car engine had stopped.
Templet entered a no-contest plea to negligent homicide in March 2021.
2. Templet Must Attend Counseling, Earn His GED & Keep a Job to Meet His Conditions
Templet has more than three years left on his probation time, and his family members said on the show that they support him.
Mannino, Templet’s step-brother, said on the show that living with Burt Templet was like living “in hell.”
Anthony Templet and his attorney, Jarrett Ambeau, discussed on the show that Burt Templet keeping his son out of school was likely a way to hide the abuse. His mother would have no way to find him, and when he was so deeply isolated he could not tell anyone about the conditions at home. Read more about Ambeau here.
Susan Templet was Burt Templet’s estranged wife and Anthony Templet’s stepmom at the time of the man’s death in June 2019. She left after a serious instance of domestic violence, she explained on the show. Court documents reviewed by WAFB detail the abuse she suffered.
The 55-page protective order says that on December 20, 2018, he shattered one of her teeth when he punched her. While she was trying to clean the blood off her face, he splashed water on her and threated to “cut her into little pieces,” according to WAFB.
About one week before that, she wrote in court paperwork that Burt Templet punched her in the face, causing her left eye to bleed. He then threw her wedding ring against the wall and made her pick it up, she wrote.
3. Anthony Templet Endured ‘Torture’ at the Hands of Templet, His Attorney Said
One of Anthony Templet’s attorneys, Franz Borghardt, told WAFB that the abuse the teen suffered was tantamount to “torture.”
“I think that in many ways, it will collaborate what our client has received in terms of abuse, and although it was a different kind of controlling situation, a different, and I’ll use the word torture, different kind of relationship, but this is a violent man,” Borghardt told the news station. “That’s what’s important here, is this is not a saint. He is a violent man and her abuse echoes the abuse that our client received as a child.”
Borghardt did not appear on the documentary, but represented Templet with Jarrett Ambeau. Ambeau told the news station his client’s childhood set the stage for the murder.
Dana Cummings, the assistant district attorney who served as the prosecutor for Templet’s case, told WAFB that no purpose would be served by putting Templet in prison.
“What would time in jail do for this young man who has never actually had a chance to learn or to have friends or to be in the world,” she told the news outlet. “What would that achieve? I just think it would keep him from ever being able to be productive.”
Ambeau told the news station that the verdict was the best possible outcome for his client.
“When I saw this injustice, I said, ‘Absolutely, no way should this kid be in jail,” he said. “Well, that’s the outcome we have. It may not be the thing we have hoped but this is an imperfect system. We try to find the best possible justice and I think we got that today.”
4. Netasha, Anthony Templet’s Half-Sister, Said the Burt Templet Would Beat Their Mother While Holding Her Baby Brother
Anthony Templet’s mother and half-sister were elated, then distraught, upon hearing he had been found, they said on the show. They considered him a missing person after Burt Templet gained sole custody of the boy at age 5 and had police take the boy from their home in Texas, then moved to Louisiana. Templet’s mom and half-sister did not hear from him again until they received a phone call saying he was in jail for the murder of his father.
“After 11 years of waiting to hear if my brother was still alive, he is found,” the sister said. “He has been secluded and abused all these years by his own father. My brave brother had to defend himself for the last time against that evil man.”
Netasha Thompson told the news station that her mom and Burt Templet were in a relationship for about 10 years. She categorized it as “extremely violent.”
“I can only imagine what Anthony’s been through,” she told the news station. “When he was a baby, Burt would hold him in his arms while abusing my mother.”
5. Templet Said He Just Wants to Live a Normal Life
Today, Templet said he just wants to live a normal life. He showed emotion only once on the three-part documentary, when he struggled to explain what “normal” meant to him.
“What does a normal life mean to you?” the interviewer asked at the end of the show.
“Just, doing normal things,” Templet answers.
“What is a normal thing to you?” the interviewer asks.
“Just- not be-,” he says, and struggles to maintain his composure.”
The scene cuts to a clip from a previous interview.
“It’s very important to feel in control of your life,” Templet says in the clip. “You get your freedom stripped from you in jail and it just kind of made me realize that… I value it a little bit more, I think. I just want to live normally. I just want to be normal and be happy, and just move on.”
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