Sentencing occurs for three in major cases here

Sentencing in three major cases in Evangeline Parish occurred in District Judge John Larry Vidrine’s courtroom Wednesday morning.

Finderick Edwards, 18, 108 Antoine St., Ville Platte, and Mario Thomas, 19, 615 E. Long St., Ville Platte, were both sentenced to 20 years at hard labor with the Department of Corrections for their involvement in armed robberies. Before sentencing, Judge Vidrine said the minimum sentence was 10 years for robbery and an additional five for using a weapon. To Edwards, Vidrine said he considered his age when making his decision. He said this was a serious offense. To Thomas, Vidrine said he also considered the circumstances and Thomas’ age at the time he robbed Country Cove and Hibbett Sporting Goods. However he said there was no excuse. He sentenced him to 20 years on both counts, to run concurrent. Thomas’ attorney noted they were filing an appeal in the matter.

Kelly Soileau, once Section Eight Program Director for the Evangeline Parish Police Jury, entered a plea of guilty to malfeasance and theft. Vidrine said he considered Soileau was the mother of three and had already begun making restitution. He sentenced her to five years with the Department of Corrections and then suspended the sentence and placed her on five years active supervised probation. She was ordered to pay court costs, fines and restitution. She said she had $22,000 to apply to that restitution today. The judge ordered it be paid to her probation officer.

Brent Coreil, district attorney, said these were three major cases very important to the community. He said the district attorney’s office handled them, obtained convictions a couple of months ago and the sentencings were being handed down by the judge.

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