Teenager with Violent History Sentenced for Killing LSU Student in New Iberia
New Iberia, LA (KPEL News) - An 18-year-old with a violent history was sentenced in Iberia Parish to 40 years at hard labor for shooting and killing an LSU student at a party in New Iberia, Louisiana. Judge-elect for the 15th Judicial District, Cynthia Spadoni, prosecuted the case with two colleagues.
Jayden Vongchanh was found guilty of manslaughter in July for the death of 19-year-old Liam McDuff. The conviction came in a St. Mary Parish courtroom after a jury in Iberia Parish deadlocked at a trial in March.
On December 13, 2020, Vongchanh and his friends were at a party at the Sugar Oaks Road horse barn in Iberia Parish and were asked to leave after a disturbance. As the group was getting in the car to leave the property, Vongchanh pulled a handgun and shot into the group standing outside the barn where the party was being held. McDuff was shot and later died from a single gunshot wound. After the shooting, the teenager bragged about what happened in a post on social media.
At the time he shot McDuff, Vongchanh had been on the run from a juvenile facility in Baton Rouge for almost 60 days and was prohibited from possessing a handgun. He was initially booked on charges of second-degree murder. An 18-year-old, Richard Perez, was also arrested and charged with accessory after the fact to second-degree murder and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile. At the time of the arrests, the Iberia Parish Sheriff thanked the eyewitnesses who came forward with information that led to Vongchanh's arrest.
McDuff's family provided impact statements during sentencing, and evidence illustrated Vongchanh's violent past. He was previously convicted as a juvenile of first-degree robbery, and was also convicted of second-degree battery in a separate case.
Although Vongchanh was 15-years-old and a juvenile at the time he killed McDuff, District Attorney Bo Duhe' said he was tried as an adult due to the seriousness of the charges.
Judge Curtis Sigur sentenced Vongchanh to 40 years at hard labor. However, because he was a juvenile when he shot McDuff, he will be eligible for parole after 25 years.
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Gallery Credit: Kevin Miller