Joseph Tezeno’s family attorney speaks out

Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 10:06 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Attorney Todd Clemons is representing the family of Joseph Tezeno, the 21-year old who was shot and killed earlier this month, after a south Lake Charles homeowner thought he was an intruder.

Clemons tells 7News he’s committed to helping Tezeno’s family find answers and now, Clemons is asking for anyone with information to come forward.

Joseph Tezeno was shot and killed near North Lake Court Drive after he approached the wrong house near a party he was attending, where a homeowner said they believed Tezeno was an intruder.

“It was a pool party,” Clemons said. “At some point, we believe he got disoriented. We don’t think he had his eye glasses on, he wore eye glasses. He went to this house by mistake.”

Clemons said from the limited information he and the family have at this time, they believe Tezeno was only wearing a pair of swim trunks at the time of his death.

“So, if anyone sees a person with swim trunks on, you know for one, they’re not armed. Secondly, it’s very likely they’re coming from some type or going to some type of pool party, and so we feel like the fact that he was killed, just wasn’t justified,” Clemons said.

In the initial reports, the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office said the homeowner did fire a warning shot before the situation escalated to Tezeno’s death.

“From my understanding, he was shot two times and I don’t think that was necessary,” Clemons said.

Clemons said he believes there were other avenues the home homeowner could have taken.

“Call the police,” Clemons said. “Let the law enforcement come out and deal with it. For you to feel threatened and you leave out of your house to confront a person, I just have a problem with that.”

Clemons explained Tezeno’s family is upset law enforcement has not released the name of the man who killed Joseph.

“We’re going to keep pressure on authorities to release the man’s name because if he did nothing wrong, there’s no need to protect him. There’s no need to shield his name,” Clemons said.

At this point, Clemons said the family is just hoping to find some answers in this tragedy.

“He was a good young man, 21-year-old young black man. He was a student at McNeese. A member of a fraternity. No criminal record whatsoever, just a good gentle soul and he didn’t deserve to die this way,” Clemons said.

The district attorney’s office said it has not received the case file yet from the sheriff’s office. When that does happen, the DA will make a determination if charges should be filed. In the meantime, Clemons is asking anyone with information to contact his office.

Copyright 2022 KPLC. All rights reserved.