NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The Soublet family is suffering a heartache like no other.
Loved ones of 31-year-old Philip “PJ” Soublet Jr. gathered in Gentilly to honor his life after his violent death.
“We’re just trying to remember him in a good way today, regardless of whatever happened in his life. It was sad how he had to leave us,” said Soublet’s uncle, Steven Soublet.
Soublet Jr. was involved in a fight at Orleans Justice Center Friday that left him severely injured.
He died of his injuries Saturday at a local hospital.
“This young man lost his life when you were supposed to take care of him, regardless of the situation. They didn’t. They failed,” said family friend Ardell Blount.
Less than 24 hours later, another inmate died by suicide, causing Sheriff Susan Hutson to pull deputies from the courts to secure the jail.
Soublet’s loved ones say the Sheriff’s Office dropped the ball.
“There were three C’s for the Sheriff’s department. It’s supposed to be care, custody and control. Two of those C’s were missing. You have those guys in custody. Where’s the care? Where’s the control?” asked Blount.
Soublet was awaiting trial for second degree murder. His family says he was addicted to drugs and was overcome by the street life of New Orleans, but they also say he was a good person at heart, a loving son and father.
“He was always with me and stuff when he was out of jail, but you know, it was always good when he was out of jail. I just want to hug him and tell him I love him and stuff like that,” said Philip Hall, Soublet’s son.
Soublet will never have his day in court.
His family wants the Sheriff’s Office to take action and to seek justice for PJ.
We reached out to the OPSO for comment and were told Sheriff Hutson offers her condolences to the Soublet family. We’re told a chaplain with OPSO made contact with the family several times, and that Sheriff Hutson will meet with them to share her findings of the investigation once it’s complete.