In 2019, local news reports in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, broke the story that 17-year-old Anthony Templet had shot and killed his father, Burt, at their home.
It was a shocking event that would only grow more depressing and complicated as details unfurled in the weeks that came after it. Now a new Netflix documentary, I Just Killed My Dad, examines this difficult case and reveals the complex and extremely dark series of events that built up to the homicide.
The full picture
On 3 June, Anthony Templet was arrested and charged with the murder of his dad, after shooting him three times. Unusually, Templet called the police on himself and confessed to the killing straight away, saying that after an early morning altercation with his father, Burt had been drunk and aggressive, and Anthony had shot him to defend himself.
But when the media began reporting the crime, somebody unexpectedly got in contact; Anthony’s long-lost half-sister, Natasha, who revealed that Anthony had been abducted by Burt 11 years earlier, making him a missing person for more than the past decade.
Speaking with Wafb.com, Natasha explained that Anthony had been stolen away from the family home in Texas by Burt in 2008, when he was just five years old: “After 11 years of waiting to hear if my brother was still alive, he is found. He has been secluded and abused all these years by his own father. My brave brother had to defend himself for the last time against that evil man.”
She explained just what their home life was like before Burt stole Anthony away: “Burt and my mum were together for about ten years and it was extremely violent. I can only imagine what Anthony’s been through. When he was a baby, Burt would hold him in his arms while abusing my mother.”
Anthony’s mother, Teresa, and his sister had posted missing child posters when Burt took him, but there were never any leads.
Once Burt had stolen Anthony away, he had isolated him and failed to send him to school, so he had little contact with the outside world. According to The Advocate, Anthony’s lawyer, Jarrett Ambeau, said his client had been “isolated and regularly abused by his father.” He added: “There was definitely regular abuse going on: physical, mental, emotional.”
Where is Anthony Templet now?
Anthony was initially charged with second-degree murder but that charge was later reduced to manslaughter, after the prosecutor confirmed that he had been acting in self-defence after years of abuse.
In 2021, he pleaded no contest to negligible homicide and will serve five years of supervised probation with credit for time served. As a condition, he must earn his GED, agree to counselling, and hold either a full-time job or be enrolled in school full-time. If he meets all requirements, then he will be eligible to have his record expunged.
His lawyer added after the court ruling: “When I saw this injustice, I said, ‘Absolutely, no way should this kid be in jail’. Well, that’s the outcome we have. It may not be the thing we have hoped but this is an imperfect system. We try to find the best possible justice and I think we got that today.”
“I have a strong want and desire for Anthony to be successful in life, he left an incredibly hopeless life and no-one got involved to help him until he shot his father.”
Following his release, Anthony has been trying to rebuild the relationship he lost with his mum and grandmother in Texas, which has proved trickier than they’d all hoped. “This is harder than losing him,” Teresa says in the documentary. “I want to be his friend, because I know it’ll never be a mother/son relationship. That was the past.”
For Anthony, one ambition rises above all others: to break the cycle of abuse within his family, and avoid becoming anything like his late father. He’s finally surrounded by the love and support he needs to do just that.
Where is Anthony Templet’s lawyer Jarrett Ambeau now?
You may have seen Jarrett Ambeau’s tweets pop up in your timeline recently. There’s naturally been an increase in interest in the case since the documentary went live, and as a result Ambeau has been receiving praise from viewers (which he regularly draws attention to on his feed). “Very important story to tell,” he says in one tweet, promoting the Netflix show. “Honored to be a part of helping this young man through this epic struggle.” Another tweet highlights issues with Anthony’s manslaughter charge, as well as the criminal justice system more widely.
He currently runs his own legal firm, Ambeau Law, representing clients in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in cases concerning federal crimes, sex crimes, DWIs, and DNA litigation (he is a court-qualified expert in the latter). Born in Louisiana, he completed his undergraduate studies while serving in the military in Kuwait and Iraq in 2004. He has six children.
How to watch I Just Killed My Dad
You can catch the three-part series on Netflix now.