Negligent Homicide: What Is the Crime From Anthony Templet’s Plea Deal?

anthony joseph templet

Netflix A promotional image for "I Just Killed My Dad."

Anthony Templet entered a no contest plea to negligent homicide in the shooting death of his dad, Burt Templet, in the murder featured on Netflix docuseries “I Just Killed My Dad.” But what is negligent homicide?

Templet, who sometimes goes by A.J., told his story beginning with his unusual 911 call. Listen to the full 911 call here. 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.

Here’s what you need to know:

Negligent Homicide Carries a Sentence of Up to 5 Years in Prison

Louisiana’s state legislature defines negligent homicide as “the killing of a human being by criminal negligence” or “the killing of a human being by a dog or other animal when the owner is reckless and criminally negligent in confining or restraining the dog or other animal.”

So then, what is criminal negligence? It is a circumstance that exists without criminal intent, according to Louisiana’s statutes.

State law says:

Criminal negligence exists when, although neither specific nor general criminal intent is present, there is such disregard of the interest of others that the offender’s conduct amounts to a gross deviation below the standard of care expected to be maintained by a reasonably careful man under like circumstances.

Negligent homicide carries a sentence of up to five years in prison, but Templet was sentenced only to five years of supervised probation.

Prosecutor Dana Cummings Said That Jail or Prison Time Would Not Benefit Templet or Society

Templet’s 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.

Anthony Templet’s supervised probation conditions also include counseling, requirements to hold a job and enroll full time in school. If he meets those conditions, he is eligible to have his record expunged, WAFB reported.

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.”

Jarrett Ambeau, Templet’s attorney, told the news station that the verdict was the best possible outcome for his client. Read more about Ambeau here.

“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.”

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