Former Sorrento Police Chief Earl Theriot dies

Staff Report
Earl Theriot

Earl Theriot Jr., a lifelong Sorrento resident who served as the town's police chief for many years, died July 27. He was 73.

Theriot was a U.S. Army veteran, and he enjoyed fishing, hunting, and spending time with his grandchildren. He is survived by his daughter, son, and three grandchildren. His wife was the late Debra Melancon Theriot.

A visitation was held the morning of July 30 in Gonzales. Burial followed at the Holy Rosary Mausoleum in St. Amant.

In 2014, the then-police chief was charged in a sexual assault investigation stemming from an incident in November 2013. He was sentenced to 24 months of probation and no jail time on a charge of lying to an FBI agent and an Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office deputy in the course of the investigation. He also was ordered to pay a $2,500 fine.

At the time, Theriot apologized in court for his actions and referred to the burden he would carry for the rest of his life. He acknowledged in court that the matter cost him his law enforcement career, and was an embarrassment to his family and the town.

In February 2014, he resigned as police chief, which was required by the plea agreement.

After years of being marred by scandal, the town dissolved its police department and entered into a contract with the parish Sheriff's Office.