Teen enters not guilty plea

Staff Report
Jacob Westbrook pleaded not guilty to second degree murder.

     GONZALES — In the courtroom of 23rd Judicial District Judge Jason Verdigets, Jacob Westbrook – who is accused of fatally stabbing a St. Amant High School senior on Oct. 10 – pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.

     On Dec. 14, the 16-year-old, appeared at his hearing shackled in an orange jumpsuit alongside his attorney, Jarrett Ambeau, who contends that Westbrook acted in self-defense on the night he is accused of stabbing Todd “T.J.” Toups Jr., 18.

     Verdigets ruled in late October that Westbrook will be tried as an adult in the case, giving him the possibility of a mandatory life sentence if convicted.

     No trial date has been set – Westbrook’s next hearing date is Jan. 11.