Daughter of woman killed in domestic incident speaks to mother's killer
The daughter of a woman strangled to death in March 2017 by her longtime boyfriend finally got the chance to speak to the man in a victim impact statement ahead of his sentencing.
Douglas Ponthieux, Sr., 61, had been charged with second-degree murder for the March 2017 choking death of his girlfriend, Connie Patterson, 56. He entered a "plea in the blind" in November to manslaughter, meaning he changed his plea with no idea of what the sentence will be ahead of time. In Louisiana, manslaughter carries up to 40 years in prison.
Ponthieux, Sr. has a history of domestic violence incidents, according to information filed by the Rapides Parish District Attorney's Office. Ponthieux, Sr. claimed he was having a seizure at the time he killed Patterson.
Lisa Clifton, Patterson's only daughter, told the court and Judge Greg Beard of her close relationship with her mother, how she was an Elvis lover, and how her mother "didn't meet any strangers." She also recounted the night when she got the call that her mother had been attacked.
"We received a call that my mom was in the hospital. Someone had done something terrible to her. It was you, Mr. Ponthieux," she said.
Clifton told the court that Ponthieux, Sr. "stalked" her mother, often putting letters on her car at her job at Wendy's to try to get her attention. She believed Ponthieux, Sr. was trying to take advantage of her mother.
"The biggest thing we ever disagreed on was you," Clifton told Ponthieux, Sr. "I could see right through you."
She then turned her attention to Judge Beard, "I have one question. How many years would you want if your mother was strangled?"
Ponthieux, Sr.'s attorney, Chad Guillot, entered three statements into the record on behalf of his client - one from Ponthieux, Sr. himself, one from his sister, and one from his daughter.
Ponthieux, Sr. apologized to Clifton in his statement, which was read by his attorney.
"I'm very sorry for what happened," he wrote. "If you only knew how much I loved her and what she meant to me." Later, "I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me."
Ponthieux, Sr. expressed a desire to spend time with his grandchildren.
His sister wrote that she believed that her brother would not have hurt Patterson "on purpose." His daughter called him "an amazing man."
Ponthieux, Sr. will be sentenced on Jan. 27. The case was prosecuted by Amani Augustine.