COVINGTON – The 20-year-old accused of killing his father and half-sister in 2014 has reached a plea deal, according to reports in the New Orleans Advocate. Jacob Middleton will serve two concurrent 35-year sentences and would be eligible for parole after the first 35 years.
Middleton, who was 17 years old when prosecutors said he snuck into his father’s home and then shot and killed both his father and his two-year-old half-sister, pleaded to two counts of manslaughter.
Following an emotional opening day of testimony, during which the mother of Middleton’s half-sister described finding the bodies, a plea deal was reached Friday.
Middleton was accused of fatally shooting his father, Jacob Middleton Sr., 35, and his 2-year-old half-sister, Makayla Middleton, on Jan. 6, 2014.
Jacob Jr., who was 17 at the time, shot his father and half-sister each in the head as they lay sleeping on an air mattress last year between Jan. 3 and Jan. 5 in Jacob Middleton Sr.’s home on Carnation Street in Abita Springs, according to prosecutors.
The father had planned to spend that Saturday afternoon watching a Saints playoff game with his children, followed the next day by pizza and games at Chuck E. Cheese’s. But those plans went awry, and Jacob Sr. did not show up at work or drop Makayla off at her mother’s home on the morning of Jan. 5. That prompted Kellie Bravo, Makayla’s mother, who lived in New Orleans, to drive with two friends to Jacob Sr.’s home, where they discovered the two bodies.
“I went through hell,” Bravo said in a statement just before Jacob Jr.’s sentencing. “I don’t feel bad for him. He knew exactly what he was doing…He was jealous of his little sister.”
After he was arrested, Middleton reportedly confessed to the crime and told investigators he killed his father in retaliation for years of abuse and violence, former St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain said at the time.
accepting the plea, Ad Hoc Judge Bruce Bennett told Jacob Jr. that people should be accountable for their actions, no matter what age. “I have grave concern about who you are on the inside,” Bennett said.
Bennett said it was evident that the murders had ripped the family apart. Jacob Jr. had been given a second chance to better himself, even though he will be incarcerated, and that he “should feel obligated to make every effort to right the wrongs that have been done.”
The trial was expected to last two weeks.