A 65-year-old man who confessed to the murder of an 11-year-old Louisiana girl in 1990 walked from prison a free man Thursday after serving only half of his prison sentence.
KSLA News reports Phillip DeSelle was released from Louisiana’s Wade Correctional Center after getting time taken off his sentence for good behavior.
DeSelle, who was 41 at the time of the murder, confessed to killing Averie Evans after she came to his door selling candy. He told authorities he threw her bike in a nearby lake and placed her body in a dumpster.
Because her body was never recovered, the district attorney’s office allowed DeSelle to plead guilty to manslaughter, for which he was sentenced to 40 years. He also received a 10-year sentence for kidnapping.
“At the time, we thought he would be in his 80s or 90 when he got out. You get some sense of peace with that,” Averie Evans’ aunt, Erin Keyser, told USA Today.
She said her entire family is upset over DeSelle’s early release but “our only recourse is to warn people.”
“He's an evil man. He never showed any remorse or regret,” Keyser added.
During a 2007 parole board hearing, DeSelle said he killed the girl because he was simply having a bad day and “just snapped.”
Pam Laborde, the communications director for the Louisiana Department of Corrections, said DeSelle’s release under Louisiana’s so-called good time law was allowed because the law was still applicable when he was sentenced. That law enables inmates to reduce their sentences with credits for good behavior and by participating in self-improvement courses.
State lawmakers changed that in 1997. Violent offenders are now required to serve 85 percent of their sentence.
Laborde said DeSelle will be on supervised probation until July 30, 2040.
Laborde told KLFY News that DeSelle is free to live in Allen, Evangeline or St. Landry parishes. He will be required to report to his parole officer located in Evangeline Parish.