Netflix's 'I Just Killed My Dad': Why Anthony Templet, at 17, 'didn't see any other way'

·4 min read

Spoiler alert: The following contains details from the docuseries "I Just Killed My Dad," streaming now on Netflix.

Netflix's new true-crime docuseries "I Just Killed My Dad" (now streaming) gets its name from an admission by then 17-year-old Anthony Templet, who fired three bullets at his dad, Burt Templet, in June 2019.

"I just, uh, killed my dad," Anthony calmly and matter-of-factly told a 911 operator after the incident at their Baton Rouge, Louisiana, home. "What do I need to tell you?" (Burt actually died a few days later when he was removed from life support.)

However, as the three-part docuseries shows, the case is anything but simple.

"I want people to know that I'm not crazy, and I'm not a murderer, and I'm innocent," Anthony tells filmmakers.

Here's what to know about Anthony and his decision to shoot his dad, which he says was in self-defense.

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Who is Anthony Templet?

Anthony spent the majority of his childhood raised by his father, after being taken from his motherat 5 years old (more on that below). Anthony's upbringing was far from idyllic, according to the documentary.

Burt was against enrolling Anthony in school, and didn't educate him at home either, says Susan Templet, Burt's estranged wife at the time of his death. She says she moved in when Anthony was 7 and that he only learned to write the alphabet at 10.

"It's easier to control a dumb person than a smart person, right?" Anthony says.

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A young Anthony Templet, with his father, Burt Templet. Both are at the center of Netflix's new docuseries, "I Just Killed My Dad."
A young Anthony Templet, with his father, Burt Templet. Both are at the center of Netflix's new docuseries, "I Just Killed My Dad."

According to Anthony, Burt surveilled him with home security cameras and an app on his phone. Anthony allegedly wasn't allowed to have friends and wasn't taken for routine doctor or dental exams.

Anthony and his stepbrother, Susan's son, Peyton Mannino, speak of the physical and emotional abuse Burt doled out.

"I've been punched and thrown and kicked, and it wouldn't stop for hours," Anthony says.

"Very rarely was it anything other than hell living there," Mannino says.

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Anthony's mom, Teresa Thompson, says Burt physically abused her, and went to jail for assaulting her.

“One time he beat me so bad that I was in bed for a week,” Thompson says, later adding, "The abuse was so frequent that it almost did seem normal." She also claims Burt's friend told her he'd been hired to kill her and that she needed to leave.

Teresa was living with Anthony in Texas when Burt was granted temporary sole custody by a Baton Rouge court after asserting that Thompson was an unfit parent.

Thompson says she didn't have the resources to continue the custody battle in another state. Anthony grew up falsely convinced his mother was a drug abuser who didn't want to have a relationship with him. Susan says she was told by Burt that Teresa was dead.

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Anthony Templet with his mother, Teresa Thompson.
Anthony Templet with his mother, Teresa Thompson.

What happened the night Burt Templet was shot?

According to Anthony, Burt charged into his room on June 3, 2019, and started a fight because Anthony had been in contact with his stepmother, Susan.

"We argued over that for a little bit," Anthony said, "and then he ended up getting violent with me, and he just lost it."

Anthony escaped to his father's bedroom, where he says his father attempted "busting the door down." Anthony said he then grabbed two guns because "this was the worst I've ever seen him." Anthony added, "I felt like this was it for me." Anthony opened the door and aimed at his father. After firing, Anthony says he "felt terrible, but I didn't see any other way."

Anthony insists he didn't want to kill his dad, but to get himself out from under Burt's roof.

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Anthony Templet hopes to "just move on" from this ordeal.
Anthony Templet hopes to "just move on" from this ordeal.

Is Anthony Templet in prison?

Anthony pleaded plead not guilty to second-degree murder in August 2019. In January 2021, Anthony's attorney Jarrett Ambeau reached a deal with East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore and Assistant DA Dana Cummings that resulted in zero jail time for Anthony.

"Probation. Negligent homicide (is) not a crime of violence, and you can expunge it from your record when you're done," Ambeau told his client in the doc.

"That's the best I could've hoped for," Anthony responded, in his lawyer's embrace.

With the case behind him, Anthony told filmmakers, "I just want to live normally and be happy and just move on."

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Netflix's Anthony Templet doc 'I Just Killed My Dad': Your Qs answered