Accused killer transferred


Wilbert Thibodeaux, 48, of Charenton, who was charged with the first degree murders of Chitimacha police Sgt. Rick Riggenbach, 52, and 78-year-old Eddie Lyons of Charenton, was transferred from the state penitentiary in Angola to Elayn Hunt Correctional Center in St. Gabriel on Friday.

Thibodeaux made his first appearance in 16th Judicial District court in Iberia Parish on Jan. 28 where the judge ordered he be held without bail.

Thibodeaux was also charged in the shootings that wounded two St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s deputies, Matthew Strickland, 24, and Jason Javier, 23. Both deputies were released from the hospital last week.

Thibodeaux was charged with two counts of first degree murder, two counts of attempted first degree murder and one count of arson from the shootings and fire that occurred in Charenton near Cypress Bayou Casino on Jan. 26.

District Attorney Phil Haney said Thibodeaux will be tried in St. Mary Parish.

Thibodeaux was originally housed in Iberia Parish for his safety because of the nature of the charges, Haney said. Thibodeaux was moved to Angola on Jan. 28.

Because the murder charges involve a life sentence or death penalty, the case must go before the grand jury, he said. The grand jury likely will be empaneled between 30 and 60 days from now, he said.

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