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Insurance fraud agent killed on the job laid to rest


Their world was thrown off kilter last Tuesday when a Ville Platte businessman murdered their co-worker, friend and family member. On Monday, they all gathered to remember Rhett Jeansonne. 9News was the only station inside the funeral mass.

There’s nothing easy about watching loved ones look on as a community gives a final farewell to friend or a final salute to a fellow firefighter. Beside the casket, was a captain’s helmet and coat, a reminder of who this community was losing. Jeansonne was a volunteer firefighter for 22 years.

“To his daughter Sharon. To his sons, to Kristopher and Hannah. To Kale and Konner and beautiful grand baby Khloe,” started a family friend, offering condolences to the family.

For almost a week, Rhett Jeansonne’s family has been left wondering why a Ville Platte businessman would kill him.

“You would think people would go to work every day and jobs are not super dangerous jobs and then something like this that just completely uncalled for would happens,” said Jassie Stout, Jeansonne’s father-in-law.

Jeansonne was an insurance fraud agent. Tuesday he and his partner, Kim Sledge, were investigating John Melvin Lavergne. Police said the man shot and killed Jeansonne and Sledge, then turned the gun on himself.

9News is told agents are not armed when they are investigating.

Outside Jeansonne’s funeral, dozens of police lined up to pay their respects.

Two of Jeansonne’s sons are also volunteer firefighters. They served as pallbearers watching over their father as his body rode atop a fire truck to his final resting place.

Kim Sledge was laid to rest Saturday.

The Department of Insurance has set up a memorial fund in memory of the workers. Donations will go toward a permanent memorial outside the department and to the families.

Donations can be mailed to the Jeansonne/Sledge Memorial Fund at LA Capitol Federal Credit Union, 700 Main Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70802.



Written by lordsinsurancelog

June 14, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Posted in Insurance News