Suspect in church vandalisms found competent to stand trial

Daniel Wayne Duplechin (Source: Sulphur Police Department)
Daniel Wayne Duplechin (Source: Sulphur Police Department)

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - A Sulphur man accused of vandalizing four Sulphur churches has been found mentally competent to stand trial in 14th Judicial District Court.

Daniel Wayne Duplechin, 35, is accused of vandalizing Our Lady Prompt Succor, Our Lady of LaSalette, Henning United Methodist Church and First Baptist Church.

Calcasieu Parish District Attorney's Office spokeswoman Holly Carter said the ruling came Wednesday.

Duplechin was arrested in December 2012. He was booked on two counts of simple burglary of a religious building, four counts of simple criminal damage to property over $500 and four counts of a hate crime (one for each church).

At the time, Sulphur Police Chief Lewis Coates said authorities believed Duplechin was under the influence of drugs when the vandalisms occurred.

"When our officers interviewed him, he kept telling them he was on a mission from God. And that God had spoken to him and told him to destroy the statues," said Coates in a December 2012 interview with KPLC.

The hardest hit were Our Lady of Prompt Succor and Our Lady of LaSalette. Police said Duplechin broke into the buildings and damaged statues inside and on the outside of the churches. According to police, he was armed with a sledge hammer.

Police said they caught Duplechin in the act at Our Lady of LaSalette and that he was aggressive and had to be tased before being taken into custody.

Copyright 2013 KPLC. All rights reserved.