Hundley paroled for 1997 murder conviction of Eunice girl
Andrew Hundley, who was sentenced to life without parole for the murder of 14-year-old Terri Elizabeth Pitre of Eunice in 1997, walked out of the Baton Rouge State Police Barracks after being released on June 9.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that no defendant under the age of 18 can be sentenced to a mandatory punishment of life without the benefit of parole.
In April 2013, Judge John Trahan removed the “no parole” restriction, which, at the time did Hundley little good because the Louisiana Supreme Court had held that the Pardon and Parole Board cannot consider the commutation of a sentence unless it was a fixed term. Life is not a fixed term.
Unless the governor commuted the term to a fixed sentence, he would not be eligible. It was whether Gov. John Bel Edwards commuted the sentence.
A motion arguing that his sentence was illegal was filed by Hundley in 2013. That was the most recent document that the Post-Signal was able to obtain on the matter.
On the morning of July 23, 1997, an employee with The Mowata Store found Pitre’s body behind the business. Eighteen hours later, authorities arrested Hundley, then 15 and described at the time as being a “teacher’s pet and political wonder boy,” for the crime. In his confession, he admitted to hitting Pitre once in the back of the head at which point he didn’t know whether she was dead for sure. He then made the conscious decision to “finish the job” and returned to strike her approximately 15 times in the back of the head with a length of metal or wood.
Hundley was possibly going to be charged with manslaughter but by returning he bypassed the road to a manslaughter charge and was on the road to second-degree murder.
He returned, yet again, to attempt to burn the body. When Pitre’s body was discovered by the store employee, it was still smoldering.
Pitre was last seen riding with Hundley in a white van, which is what led to his arrest.
He retracted his initial story several times — blaming a friend for the crime at one point — and pleaded not guilty. A jury found him guilty after five hours of deliberations.