A United States court has issued a verdict in the case of a father who took the life of a man suspected of abducting and sexually assaulting his son. The father has been sentenced to five years of probation and mandated community service.
The incident, captured on video, depicts Leon Gary Plauche fatally shooting Jeffrey Doucet during the latter’s arrest on May 16, 1984, following accusations of kidnapping. This footage went viral, drawing widespread attention.
Initially charged with second-degree murder, Plauche ultimately pleaded no contest to manslaughter, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 21 years. Through a plea agreement with prosecutors, the charges were reduced.
During the hearing, Judge Frank Saia sentenced Leon Gary Plauche to 300 hours of community service and five years of probation. He emphasized that incarceration would not serve a productive purpose, considering the victim’s family and the defendant’s family were both affected.
Judge Frank Saia expressed, “Both the victim and the defendant come from good families. What makes this case unusual is that both sides are victims. Both have endured suffering.”
The courtroom proceedings were charged with emotion. Jeffrey Doucet’s mother, Elia, shed tears, while his brother Roland firmly upheld the commandment “thou shalt not kill,” believing that his late brother shared the same conviction.
Leon Gary Plauche’s attorney, Anthony Marabella, argued that the likelihood of his client committing another crime was minimal, and imprisonment would neither be beneficial nor proportionate to the seriousness of the offense.
Psychological reports presented as evidence by Dr. James L. Brabham revealed that Leon Gary Plauche’s son had confided in his mother about the sexual harassment he had endured. The reports also detailed the victim’s nightmares.
In his evaluation, Dr. Edward P. Uzee, who examined Leon Gary Plauche, stated that the killer was unable to differentiate between right and wrong at the time of the crime. The psychologist further explained that the killer believed he had a divine duty to eliminate the alleged molester in order to protect his son and other children from harm.