Dec 17, 2013 10:54 PM by Steven Albritton

New Charges for Kerry Bertrand, Family's Wishes Rule Out Most Serious

Tuesday, a grand jury indicted Kerry Bertrand on second-degree murder charges in the death of his step-daughter Skylar Credeur. The charges could have been more serious, but according to District Attorney Mike Harson, the family of the victim wanted something else. Harson says, Credeur's family did not want a first-degree murder charge, which carries the possibility of the death sentence. The grand jury chose to indict Bertrand on second-degree murder, which carries a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

"The family was satisfied with that outcome and it in fact makes things a lot easier. We don't have to worry about a potential capital case with all the costs and so forth. It makes it a much easier case to prove because of the issues with intent," Harson said.

If it weren't for the family's wishes, there's a good chance Bertrand could have been indicted on first-degree murder. Only days before Credeur's death, she filed a restraining order against Bertrand. Under Louisiana law, someone who violates a protective order to commit a murder, can be charged with first-degree murder, if the grand jury indicts.

"The death penalty may not be available but life imprisonment is, which is the same penalty for either one. In a sense, I'm not going to say better, but being the family was certainly agreeable with it, it really met everything because it's a charge they wanted in the first place. It makes the possibility this case can be disposed of a lot faster than if we had it as a first degree murder," Harson said.

Harson says Bertrand will be re-arraigned in the next 30 days.


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