Family of Louisiana Ave murder suspects say it was self defense - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Family of Louisiana Ave murder suspects say it was self defense

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Shawna Cedars has bonded out of the Calcasieu Correctional Center on drug charges but her brother, 24-year-old Keenan Cedars, and her son, 17-year-old Austin Cedars, remain in jail each facing a second-degree murder charge in the death of Anthony Batiste.

Batiste was shot Dec. 2 at 3214 Louisiana Avenue. A week after the murder, family members of the accused tell 7 News it was self defense.

"They did what they had to do. They were protecting their mother and sister," said Terry Cedars, stepmother of the accused.

Like everyone else, Terry said Shawna and Batiste had an on-again off-again relationship.

"Anthony was at the house. They were arguing. Austin told them to chill out and stop arguing," said Terry.

Terry said Keenan and Austin had left only to return to hours later to find Shawna and Austin's girlfriend beat up by Batiste, who they once considered family.

"In the past, Mr. Batiste and them all got along great. They thought of him as a brother. So, it wasn't like he was strange to them. He knew them,... They thought of him like a brother," said Terry.

Terry said Batiste would return to the home and manage to make his way back inside. According to Terry, he was still coming at Shawna. More shouting was heard before the first shot was fired.

"Keenan shot him in the butt thinking that would stop him and make him realize oh no,... Not to do this. Then he kept coming and coming at them," said Terry.

Terry said at this point, Austin had also retrieved a gun and fired the fatal shot. She said they felt like it was the only way to stop him.

"They did what they had to do. It was either Mr. Batiste or Shawna. It's sad. It's very sad. It's sad for both sides of the family. I know he had two little girls and that's very sad," said Terry.

In the week that has passed, Terry said tears have been cried for both families. She said she is praying for everyone involved.

"This has got to stop. The violence has got to stop. Domestic violence needs to be stopped," said Terry.

Keenan and Austin Cedars remain in the Calcasieu Correctional Center, each on $1 million bond.

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