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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Graduate P Shaylee Ackerman (10) pitches during Texas A&Ms game against Valpo on Feb. 10, 2024 at Davis Diamond.
Holding down the house
February 22, 2024
Graduate P Shaylee Ackerman (10) pitches during Texas A&Ms game against Valpo on Feb. 10, 2024 at Davis Diamond.
Holding down the house
February 22, 2024

La. man pleads not guilty of extortion

 
 

A Louisiana man pleaded not guilty to a charge of using an underage girl to extort money from an A&M professor, who jumped to his death from a campus building in January, according to the Associated Press.
Authorities allege Daniel Timothy Duplaisir of Metairie, La., used the girl to lure James Aune, professor and head of the Communication Department, into a sexually explicit online relationship and then contacted Aune, acting as an outraged father, to demand money
Court records show text messages between Duplaisir and Aune that indicate the threats to publicize the relationship contributed to the communication professor’s decision to jump from Northside parking garage.
A judge in Houston on Tuesday ordered Duplaisir to remain in jail without bond. His trial is scheduled for May 28.
FBI investigators used text and email conversations found on Aunes campus computer and iPhone to determine that Duplaisir had been threatening to call police and Aunes employers if he did not send him something like $5,000, according to the affidavit.
Aune transferred Duplaisir $1,000 initially and promised to send more money in January, according to the FBI document.
Aune texted Duplaisir the morning of Jan. 8: Killing myself now. And u will be prosecuted for black mail, according to the affidavit.
The widow of Aune, Miriam Aune, said her husband was a good man who was “very human with flaws, just like all of us.”
She said Tuesday she’s not excusing her husband’s actions but that he was duped by Duplaisir, who she says orchestrated the scheme for money.
She said her husband had been depressed for several years before his suicide.
Candice Wilmeth, class of 2013, took courses from Aune and said she had suspicions about the nature of his death from the start.
When I initially heard of his death and how he did it, I automatically thought that there had to have been a third-party or something else involved that wasnt necessarily put on display, Wilmeth said.
Stephanie Workman, senior communications major, said Aune commanded a classroom.
He was so smart, almost to the point where he talked over your head but he dumbed it down enough for us to get it, Workman said.

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