A Louisiana mother was killed in a murder-for-hire plot, allegedly arranged by her brother, after pretending to be the killers’ target to save her daughter’s life.
Terrebonne Parish Sheriff Tim Soignet said in a press conference that Beaux Cormier, 35, is accused of arranging a hit on his own niece, after he was arrested for allegedly raping her in March 2020.
Cormier, a convicted sex offender, allegedly hired two friends—who authorities have identified as Andrew Eskine, 25, and Dalvin Wilson, 22—to carry out the hit to prevent his niece from testifying against him at trial; however, when Wilson came to the family’s Montegut home in January and asked for his intended target by name, 34-year-old Brittany Cormier came to the door and pretended to be the rape victim “accepting her fate to save the life of an actual victim,” Soignet said.
Brittany’s neighbor, 37-year-old Hope Nettleton, also just happened to be at the home at the time and was killed while trying to fight the gunman off, Soignet said.
While Soignet declined to comment on the relationship between Beaux and Brittany at the press conference, multiple news outlets and her obituary have identified him as her brother.
Soignet told The Advocate that Brittany’s daughter and stepdaughter had been hiding in a nearby closet when the women were shot to death.
“She would do anything for her kids,” Brittany’s friend Samantha LeMaire told the outlet. “But to this extent? I never thought it would ever have come down to this.”
LeMaire said her friend’s final moments had been spent trying to protect those she loved.
“Maybe they hid in the closet because they were scared,” she said. “But I like to think she locked them in the closet to protect them.”
Investigators said the attack had been planned with Beaux, Eskine and Wilson conducting surveillance at the family’s home sometime before November.
Then in November 2020, Eskine and Wilson returned to the home in an attempt to carry out the hit, but “it was a failed attempt,” Soignet said.
A neighbor spotted a vehicle in the area at the time connected to one of the suspects and was later able to provide that information to investigators, which helped them ultimately identify the suspects.
Months later, on Jan. 13, Wilson returned to the home on his own after Eskine had to go out of town for work in the final and fatal attempt to carry out the attack, according to a press release detailing the allegations.
Although he was not physically present at the shooting, authorities said Eskine provided his vehicle to Wilson and helped plan the attack.
Wilson allegedly went up to the door and asked for his target by name and Brittany pretended to be her daughter.
“They were good people that ended up dying as a result,” Soignet said. “I mean this really hit that community hard so we worked real hard so we could bring peace to the families and the communities down in Montegut.”
Soignet said authorities were able to piece together the crime using the neighbors' “critical” information and surveillance images that allowed them to track the vehicle used in the attack. All three men were later taken into custody.
Soignet said Wilson and Eskine have both allegedly confessed to their role in the slayings.
“This situation has rocked our community and it will not be tolerated,” District Attorney Joe Waitz Jr. said during the press conference.
Waitz said the death penalty is “absolutely on the table” in the case, but he planned to talk with the victims’ families before reaching any conclusions about whether to pursue capital punishment.
He also commended investigators for their work to solve the case.
“These guys worked tirelessly, around the clock, solving this case. They started off with just a smidgeon of evidence and took it from there and ultimately ended up with three arrests with confessions, so I am very, very proud of our local law enforcement team,” he said.
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