Inmate found guilty of second-degree murder

It took a 12-member jury only 16 minutes to return with a guilty verdict of a state inmate who stabbed another inmate to death in 2021 at Hunt Correctional Center in St. Gabriel. The jury trial was held in at the Iberville Parish Courthouse in Plaquemine on Tuesday and Wednesday, with the jury returning the verdict at about 4:40 pm Wednesday.

Ernest Governor was convicted of second-degree murder for stabbing Reynault Danos to death with a shank at about 2:30 am on March 29, 2021. The two men were housed together in the same unit of the prison, but not the same cell.

They got into an argument about the volume of the TV, and Danos went and unplugged the TV. Governor then armed himself with a shank knife, and Danos fled to his cell, shutting the cell door behind him. Governor jerked Danos’ cell door until he could get it open, and stabbed Danos in the heart, killing him. 

Governor then went put the shank down the shower drain, and it was never found. He then took a shower. Danos was discovered by a guard at about 5:20 am, but the attack was captured on prison cameras and was played for the jury.

A second-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory penalty of life in prison with no parole or probation. 18th Judicial District Court Judge Elizabeth Engolio, who presided over the trial, set sentencing for March 29.

Governor, age 62, was serving a prison term for aggravated battery and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Danos was 43 when murdered. The prosecution was led by the District Attorney’s Office Chief of Trials Chad Aguillard and Assistant District Attorney Tim Collins. Also  on the prosecution team was Assistant District Attorney Ali Meronek.

District Attorney Tony Clayton said, “The tragedy of this case is that Mr. Governor was almost done with his sentence and was to be released in the not so distant future. Violence is not the answer. Now Mr. Governor will spend the rest of his life in prison.”