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Press Release

Jefferson County Man Guilty in Carjacking Death

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Texas

BEAUMONT, Texas – A 25-year-old Beaumont, Texas man has pleaded guilty to federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.

Jonathan Demond Patton pleaded guilty today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith F. Giblin to carjacking resulting in death.          

          According to information presented in court, early on the morning of June 23, 2013, Patton and River Shynette Gobert entered a self-service laundry on Florida Avenue in Beaumont intending to rob the sole occupant.  When the victim refused to hand over his car keys, Gobert shot him in the leg at Patton’s direction.  Patton and Gobert fled the laundry in their vehicle without the victim’s keys.  They drove by an apartment complex on Woodrow Avenue where they encountered Daryl Dwayne Fontenot asleep in his vehicle.  A struggle ensued when Patton and Gobert attempted to steal the vehicle and Fontenot was shot twice in the chest killing him.  Patton and Gobert fled in their vehicle after they were unable to locate Fontenot’s keys.  A short time later, law enforcement officers stopped Patton and Gobert because their vehicle matched the vehicle reported in the self-service laundry shooting.  Patton and Gobert fled the vehicle but left the weapon used to shoot the two men behind.  Patton and Gobert were arrested and each gave statements indicating the other was responsible for the shootings.  On Sep. 23, 2013, a Jefferson County grand jury indicted Patton and Gobert for the self-service laundry shooting.  Gobert pleaded guilty and was sentenced to seven years in state prison.  Patton pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 years in state prison.  On Mar. 5, 2015, a federal grand jury indicted Patton and Gobert charging them for the carjacking murder of Fontenot.

            Patton faces up to life in federal prison at sentencing.  A sentencing date has not been set.

This case is being prosecuted as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative.  Project Safe Neighborhoods is aimed at reducing gun and gang violence, deterring illegal possession of guns, ammunition and body armor, and improving the safety of residents in the Eastern District of Texas. Participants in the initiative include community members and organizations as well as federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Beaumont Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John B. Ross.

Updated August 12, 2015

Project Safe Neighborhoods