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Accomplice to ambush murder of 2 Louisiana deputies released early, despite continuing threats to law enforcement

Derrick Smith. Credit: St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff's Office
Derrick Smith. Credit: St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office

One of the six suspects involved in the 2012 ambush killings of two Louisiana deputies has been released on grounds of good behavior.

The neck-tattoo-clad Derrick Smith has been released by the Louisiana Department of Corrections, relegated to supervised probation on April 1st after only five years behind bars.

Smith was one of six individuals involved in the killing of St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Deputies Jeremy Triche and Brandon Nielsen, where Smith’s brother -who had extreme anti-government leanings- ambushed the officers.

Smith was originally sentenced to a 5-year term and a 12-year term, to be served concurrently.  However, Smith qualified for the state’s  ‘Good Time’ law, which allows prisoners to be released after serving only 46% of their sentence for good behavior.

Deputy Triche’s mother, Edie Triche, said that the family is at a loss as to how Smith could be released.

“It’s just disturbing to us,” Triche said Wednesday. “It just amazes me that he can get out on good time, especially with those letters found in his cell.”

Even the LDOC warned that as an “avowed Sovereign Citizen,” Smith has been found with radical anti-government writings that include threats to law enforcement officers and their families.

“He met his obligations on the amount of time,” said Ken Pastorick, communications director for the Department of Public Safety and Corrections.  “He got good time.”

While Smith is released under supervised parole and electronic monitoring, the victims of his family’s actions were not notified. Admittedly, even SJSO Sheriff Mike Trege was caught by surprise when his office was not formally informed of Smith’s release.

“It’s not long enough in my opinion,” Tregre said Wednesday. “Two deputies killed, two injured and he’s out? That just doesn’t make sense to me.”

According to NOLA, Smith was convicted on accessory to attempted murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Witnesses have testified that Smith was not present during the shootout in the mobile home park, but returned shortly afterwards.

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