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Jul 24, 2013 7:34 PM by Akeam Ashford

Ceremony Planned to Remember State Trooper

The Louisiana State Legislature remembers a trooper who was killed in the line of duty 36-years ago.

The legislature approved the naming of part of LA 94--the Breaux Bridge Highway--after fallen state trooper Donald Cleveland during this year's legislative session.

Cleveland was shot and killed on July 2, 1977, after making a routine traffic stop along the highway.

Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal, who was a state police lieutenant at the time, vividly remembers the day Trooper Cleveland was killed.

"He was one of these guys where if he was coming to work and he saw a violation, he would act on it," Ackal said. "He did not wait until he got to his office and then went on his regular duty patrol."

Inside the car was 17-year-old Dalton Prejean, who shot and killed the young trooper.

"He was a great kid--he really was. It was sad because he had a brand new baby at home and a little girl," says Ackal, who remembers when Cleveland's son was born.

Donald D. Cleveland says he doesn't remember anything about his father.

"All I had were photographs and wonderful stories that were told to me about how good of a man he was, and how he would give anything to anybody at any particular time," says Cleveland.

Today, Cleveland has children of his own, which has helped him forgive.

"Even though I didn't get to meet him, I met a lot of people that know him and how wonderful a person he was, so that's my responsibility in life."

The ceremony is set for tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 along the Breaux Bridge Highway at the Lafayette/St. Martin parish line.



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