Louisiana man gets life without parole in 2019 killings of 5

A Louisiana man was sentenced to life in prison without parole after pleading guilty to first-degree murder charges Wednesday in the shooting deaths of five people, including his parents and girlfriend’s father, in 2019.

Dakota Theriot was spared the death penalty in a plea agreement with prosecutors. The prison terms — five in all for each of the victims — will run concurrently.

Authorities in Louisiana have said Theriot provided a lot of information to investigators about how the killings unfolded, but a motive remained elusive.

In state court in Livingston Parish, Theriot, 24, pleaded guilty before District Judge Brenda B. Ricks in the killings of Summer Ernest, 20, who was Theriot’s girlfriend; her 17-year-old brother, Tanner Ernest; and her father, Billy Ernest, 43, at a home outside of Walker, news outlets reported.

VIRGINIA AGENTS APPREHEND EX-BOYFRIEND IN KILLINGS OF MOTHER, 3 CHILDREN

Later Wednesday in Ascension Parish, Theriot pleaded guilty before District Judge Jason Verdigets to two more counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of his parents, Keith and Elizabeth Theriot, both 50, prosecutors said.

Authorities have said Theriot was living with his girlfriend’s family when the shootings occurred in January 2019. After the Ernests were gunned down, Theriot took Billy Ernest’s truck to Ascension Parish, where he was accused of shooting his father and stepmother at their home in Gonzales before fleeing to his grandmother’s home in Virginia, where he was captured.

Dakota Theriot, left, is escorted to the Ascension Parish Courthouse East in Gonzales, LA., on Feb. 1, 2019
(AP Photo/Matthew Hinton, File)

Authorities in Louisiana have said Theriot provided a lot of information to investigators about how the killings unfolded, but a motive remained elusive.

District Attorney Scott Perrilloux noted that Theriot’s extensive psychological records documented a history of mental illness.

“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,” Perrilloux said in a statement.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“Seeking the death penalty, although factually warranted, would lead to protracted and likely never ending litigation for the victims’ families to endure,” he said. “After much review, discussion, and consideration, we felt this was the best outcome.”

Theriot’s trial was delayed for two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic.