Tory Horton’s shooter sentenced to life in prison

Published 11:52 am Saturday, January 25, 2020

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LAPLACE —Frederick Seymore Jr. of LaPlace was sentenced to life in prison without the benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence this month for the 2016 killing of East St. John student Tory Horton.
Horton’s dreams of the future were shot on August 5, 2016, when he was gunned down outside of the LaPlace Discount convenience store. Horton would have graduated in May 2019.
According to testimony, Horton was on his way to get a back-to-school haircut when he saw the line was too long and went to the store at the corner of Airline Highway and Cambridge.
It was there, according to Sheriff Mike Tregre, that he was stalked and shot by assailants who had a dispute with his older brother.
Detectives arrested Bruce Butler Jr. and charged him with principal to second-degree murder. Suspected shooter Seymore remained at large for six days, until the United States Marshals Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested him in Houston, Texas. He was taken into custody and charged with second-degree murder.
A St. John the Baptist Parish jury found Seymore guilty as charged for second-degree murder on June 27, 2019, after a four-day trial and approximately four hours of deliberation. Bruce Butler was a key witness who identified Seymore in the courtroom and in a photo lineup during the trial.
Assistant District Attorney William Dieters and attorney Chris Cortez headed the prosecution.
Sentencing was originally scheduled for September 2019 and moved to January 2020. Division A Judge Madeline Jasmine delivered the sentence.
The defense, headed by attorney David Belfield, filed a motion for a new trial and a motion for appeal, according to St. John Clerk of Court Eliana DeFrancesch.
The court denied the motions and proceeded to the sentencing. The victim’s mother was present, according to court records.
The first witnesses took the stand on June 26. Several St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office investigators testified during the trial, including Det. Galen Joseph, Sgt. Joshua Gilboy, Sgt. Grant Pierre and Det. Brandon Barlow.
During Pierre’s testimony, the jury viewed images of the LaPlace Discount gas station entrance and front counter spattered with blood.
Photos and surveillance video of a red Toyota Corolla during the time of recovery were shared with the jury during Barlow’s testimony.
Sheriff Tregre said thorough investigative work is essential to obtaining convictions and sentences that keep violent offenders off the streets.
“The patrolmen did an outstanding job of securing all of the evidence at the scene,” Tregre said. “Once the case was given to the detectives, they followed a lead where the perpetrators took extensive steps to avoid capture and conceal evidence. Multiple agencies were involved in this. It’s more than just going to trial and him being found guilty. There’s a tremendous amount of work. It’s a total team effort and a lot of energy and resources needed to make convictions happen, and I must commend everyone from dispatch to patrol to investigative to special operations.”
The community described Horton as a good kid following the 2016 homicide.
Former East St. John principal Cory Butler told L’OBSERVATEUR Horton worked throughout his ninth grade year to better himself.
Horton and Butler had frequent morning and lunchtime conversations about becoming a good man.