A karate instructor named Jeff Doucet in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, had abducted an 11-year-old boy in June of 1983 and taken him to California.
When Jody was rescued and returned to his family, his father Gary Plauche was coping with reports that his son had been sexually assaulted.
According to reports, Doucet had been molesting and abusing the boy for at least a year prior to the kidnapping. Police found Doucet and Jody in a motel and arrested him on a raid.
An interview of Plauche back in 1983 was shown, where he says that he felt helpless. Ten days later, on March 16m 1984, when the police flew Doucet back to face criminal charges, Plauche was waiting with a gun.
The suspect came through the airport, and a news reporter who was there that day narrates how he raised his camera to get a close-up shot and as he got parallel to the reporter, Plauche goes up, shoots and kills him. The whole incident is recorded on camera, and officers are shown apprehending Plauche and asking, “Gary, why?” over and over again.
The reporter says the incident stands out to this day in his mind, because Plauche answered:
“If it had been your child, you would have done the same thing.”
Today, Abram McGull is an assistant US attorney and views the tape through the eyes of a federal prosecutor.
He says the video was the most ideal witness in this case, as you can see Plauche take the gun out of his boot, pull it out to shoulder level and pull the trigger to shoot – the video is shown in slow motion.
Yet Plauche, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter, got off lightly. He only received five years’ probation and no jail time.
The case received widespread critical attention at the time, with people divided over whether or not Plauche should have served time. Plauche claimed until his death that what he did was right, and that others in the same position would have done the same thing.