John Paul Devillier to serve without parole, probation or suspension of sentence
John Paul Devillier, who was found guilty of the attempted first-degree murder of St. Charles Parish Sheriff Deputy Burt Hazeltine, was sentenced to 40 years in prison today (April 25).
29th Judicial Court District Judge Emile R. St. Pierre ordered the sentence to be served without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence in today’s sentencing hearing.
Mandy Hazeltine delivered a victim impact statement on behalf of her husband, Cpl. Hazeltine, and the rest of their family.
“My husband is alive today, not for lack of John Devillier trying … but by the grace of God,” she said in the courtroom. “He is forgiven, not for his sake, but for our own.”
Devillier addressed the court briefly and apologized to Hazeltine and his family, to the people of St. Charles Parish, as well as his own family, according to the St. Charles Parish District Attorney’s office.
“I am satisfied that the sentence that was handed down today achieves justice for Cpl. Hazeline, his family, his fellow law enforcement officers and the citizens of St. Charles Parish,” said District Attorney Joel Chaisson II.
On Feb. 14 of last year, a jury found Devillier, 60, guilty of attempted first-degree murder of a peace officer.
On April 16, 2015, Devillier shot Hazeltine as the deputy directed traffic in a school zone near J.B. Martin Middle School in Paradis. The next day, Devillier was charged with attempted first-degree murder of a peace officer and two counts of battery of a peace officer and resisting an officer by force.
Devillier had shot Hazeltine three times, leaving him blind in his left eye.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, the attack was brought about by an apparent case of road rage from Devillier becoming angry over the deputy not stopping traffic to allow him to turn. He argued with Hazeltine about it and then went to his father’s house, where he called the Sheriff’s Office and told the chief deputy that he was an NCIS agent. He demanded the sheriff come to the parking lot and the deputy hung up.
Devillier returned to the scene of the argument and summoned Hazeltine to approach his vehicle. The deputy noticed a weapon on the dashboard and drew his gun, demanding Devillier show his hands. Devillier then produced a second gun, firing several shots from that weapon through the windshield at the deputy.
Hazeltine survived the attack, but suffered several injuries.
In August, Devillier was released from prison on a $750,000 bond on the condition he be subject to house arrest and live with a family member in St. Charles Parish.
Hazeltine said he was aware of the release at the time in a Facebook post.
“In the next couple of days you may see news about my case,” Hazeltine states. “The shooter has made bond and is being released on house arrest. We ask that you be kind in your words toward him and his family. We are dealing with this news as best we can and believing that all things work for good on our behalf and everyone’s really. Please keep us in your prayers as we deal with this latest development.”