Kevin Daigle sentenced to death in trooper’s murder

Published 7:09 am Friday, October 21, 2022

Iowa Police Chief Keith Vincent, the victim’s older brother, said words cannot express the gratitude their family feels to have justice served.

“We finally got the result the family has been waiting for — justice,” Vincent said. “Deviant people cannot go around shooting police officers intentionally, showing no remorse, and not have the fullest extent of the law allowed in the state, which is the death penalty. It’s good to see he got the full extent.”

After one hour of deliberations, the jurors in the penalty phase of Daigle’s first-degree murder conviction unanimously agreed in July to a death penalty sentence. Daigle was convicted in 2019 of fatally shooting Vincent in the face when the officer tried to help him on the side of the road on Aug. 23, 2015. A unanimous jury gave Daigle the death penalty for Vincent’s murder four days after his conviction, but the state and defense worked out an agreement in which the guilty verdict would stand but the penalty phase would be redone because of allegations a juror wasn’t qualified to serve.

Now seven years later, Vincent’s brother said he finally feels closer to having closure in the case.

“I want to be there when he’s executed; that will give me closure,” he said through tears. “I want to see that he is no longer around to harm anybody, whether it be out on the streets or even incarcerated, I just don’t want him hurting anyone else. It’s good to see that this criminal is getting what he got coming.”

“I could always look to him and see what he was doing, especially in law enforcement, and I learned a lot from him growing up,” Terrell Vincent said. “He was a good person. He had a strong faith, he prayed, attended Mass. When he applied himself, he went all out. I know there will be appeals but, for me, just hearing the sentencing was enough.”

Before sentencing, Joshua Schwartz with the Capital Appeals Project asked Judge Clayton Davis to delay the hearing in order for his office to subpoena additional records from the sheriff’s office.

“This is not a case of mistaken identity, we’re simply seeking documents that would show why he acted the way he did on that day,” Schwartz told the judge. “We want to look at all the claims put together because the state was allowed to introduce prejudice during the trial.”

Davis denied the motion.

“We’ve all been through a lot — and most of what we’ve been through is video footage of this killing that we will never forget,” Davis said. “This community mourns the death of Trooper Vincent and that won’t end. Justice in its harshest form has been agreed upon by the jury and this court sentences him to death.”

Daigle, outfitted in an orange jump suit with the words INMATE XL written in bold black letters across his back shoulders, continually shook his right leg during the hearing, causing a constant clanging of the chains keeping him in his seat. After the sentencing, Daigle was escorted back to an awaiting vehicle to be transported to Louisiana State Penitentiary-Angola.

Calcasieu Parish District Attorney Stephen Dwight said his office will “continue to fight every step of the way” as Daigle’s defense team begins the appeals process.

“The jury came back with a just verdict and we’re prepared to fight that and continue to fight that through the state court and the federal court,” Dwight said. “This is what we sought, that’s what the jury found, that’s what the judge found, that’s what our community sees. This was done on dash cam footage and it was horrific and the jury got it right. This is what the death penalty is made for — this type of criminal.”