Suspect convicted in Montegut man’s ‘sinister’ murder

A Montegut man is facing life in prison after being convicted of robbing and killing a Terrebonne Parish man.

Terance Dupre, 24, was convicted Friday evening of the second-degree murder of 53-year-old Montegut resident Kirby Courteaux Jr. in 2019.

Another suspect in the case, Devante Matthews, 24, also of Montegut, pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and was charged to 18 years in prison.

Prosecutors hailed the unanimous verdict on Friday.

“This was not a case of momentary lapse of judgment, it was calculated, deliberate, sinister and stretched across multiple jurisdictions involving four law enforcement agencies,” said Assistant District Attorney Greg Stahlnecker, who prosecuted the case along with Assistant District Attorney Shaun George.

“Nothing can bring Kirby back; However, I hope that the victim’s family can now be at peace knowing that justice was served for Kirby and that the defendant will never be able to harm anyone again.”

Related: After 2019 murder of a Montegut man, jury deliberations underway for suspect’s murder trial

authorities began investigating Courteaux’s disappearance on May 14, 2019, after his family members reported him missing since May 11, the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office said.

Investigators learned Courteaux had been fatally shot during a robbery at a boat launch on La. 665 in Pointe-aux-Chenes in Lafourche Parish and his body taken to Morgan City. Lafourche detectives found bullet casings and other evidence at the scene.

Morgan City Police found Courteaux’s body at Levee Road and Veterans Boulevard, authorities said. An autopsy later showed the victim suffered multiple gunshot wounds.

Prosecutors said Courteaux had four gunshot wounds: one through the back of his head, one through the neck and two in the back.

After Dupre shot Courteaux, he continued to drive the victim’s truck around town, stole his wallet and used his bank card to withdraw money, prosecutors said.

The suspects drove Courteaux’s body to a secluded area in Morgan City, where they tried to hide the evidence.

“They initially wanted to bury the body but didn’t have time,” Stahlnecker said.

Dupre testified last week that it was Matthews who shot Courteaux, but prosecutors rejected his claims.

“I can’t tell you how many lies that man told,” Stahlnecker said Friday. “I stopped counting at 100. There are so many stories, so many lies.”

Thibodaux attorney George Ledet, who represents Dupre, said most of the state’s evidence was based on the unreliable testimony from Matthews, who made a plea bargain for a lesser charge.

“Consider this case without Devante Matthews,” Ledet said during closing arguments Friday. “Where’s the evidence? I commend his lawyer. It got him a good deal, but does that make his testimony credible?

“We have heard different stories from different people about what happened. You cannot convict someone based on an assumption. All we have is the statement of a convicted felon who saved his butt. He’s not worthy of belief. He’s going to say anything to keep his 18-year plea deal.”

Also: Two suspects indicted in Montegut man’s death

Ledet could not be reached for comment Monday.

Dupre is scheduled to be scheduled May 19 in the courtroom of state District Judge Christopher Boudreaux. He faces a mandatory life sentence without parole, probation or early release.

— Staff Writer Dan Copp can be reached at 448-7639 or at dan.copp@houmatoday.com. Follow him on Twitter @DanVCopp.

This article originally appeared on The Courier: Suspect convicted in Montegut man’s murder

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