Dakota Theriot

Dakota Theriot

LIVINGSTON – The man accused of five murders across two parishes heads into a grand jury hearing Thursday, Feb. 7, at the Livingston Parish Courthouse, 21st Judicial District Attorney Scott Perrilloux said this morning.

The grand jury will consider a formal indictment against Dakota Theriot, who confessed to authorities that he killed Billy, Summer, and Tanner Ernest at their home near Walker on the morning of Jan. 26.  

The hearing will begin at 9 a.m. at the Livingston Parish Courthouse. Chief District Bob Morrison is scheduled to preside over the hearing, Perrilloux said.

Theriot is also accused of killing his parents, Keith and Elizabeth Theriot, in Gonzales approximately an hour after he allegedly killed the Ernest family.

A grand jury hearing has not yet been scheduled in those two murders, which will be tried in 23rd Judicial District Court under District Attorney Ricky L. Babin.

“I’ve talked to Ricky a couple times about it, and I don’t know about what his timetable or schedule is, but we want to get this down,” he said. “There’s no sense of waiting on this one.”

Perrilloux and Babin remain uncertain whether they will seek the death penalty on Theriot.

“We still want to receive any and all information we can get our hands on which is relevant,” he said. “It’s possible he has mental health issues, which is relevant to this case, so we want to know more information about that.”

Perrilloux said he and Babin plan to work closely on the cases to prevent delays in the trial.

“This is going to take some cooperation between our office and the 23rd District Court,” he said. “I have a good relationship with Ricky, and we’re going to do what we have to do to make this as efficient as possible.”

Theriot was arrested Jan. 26 in front of his grandmother’s home in Richmond County, Va., where he drove after allegedly committing the five murders.

He waived extradition in a hearing Feb. 1 and was flown back to Ascension Parish, where he was processed and charged with two counts of first-degree murder.

Authorities transported him the next day to Livingston Parish, where he was charged on the counts for the Ernest family killings. He will remain in custody without bond at the Livingston Parish Detention Center.  

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