updated 1/13/2006 11:22:33 PM ET 2006-01-14T04:22:33

A tribal chairman’s teenage son was sentenced Friday for exchanging threatening messages with the gunman in last year’s shootings on the Red Lake Indian reservation, but the closed hearing frustrated victims’ family members.

Louis Jourdain’s father, Floyd Jourdain Jr., would not disclose the nature of the 17-year-old’s sentence, but his comments suggested it wasn’t severe.

“The judge’s ruling will reflect what I’ve maintained all along ... my son is a good kid,” the elder Jourdain said, adding that his son “feels extremely terrible about what happened at Red Lake.”

Attorneys left the Minneapolis federal court without commenting.

Quoting anonymous sources, the Star Tribune reported on its Web site Friday evening that Louis Jourdain was sentenced to spend up to a year at a private juvenile rehabilitation and treatment facility and that the length of his confinement depends on his rehabilitation.

The teenager will be on probation until he is 21, and during that period, a federal judge will have discretion to send him to other facilities as a condition of probation, the paper reported.

A telephone message left by The Associated Press at Floyd Jourdain’s home was not immediately returned Friday evening. Another message was left with Jon Hopeman, Louis Jourdain’s attorney.

A judge barred victims of the shooting or their survivors from the closed juvenile proceedings, ruling that they were not victims of the crime for which Jourdain was being sentenced and that the proceedings would not answer their questions about the March 21, 2005, rampage.

Victims’ families frustrated
Jeff Weise, 16, killed his grandfather and the man’s companion, then headed to Red Lake High School, where he killed five students, a teacher and a security guard before killing himself in the worst school shooting since Columbine.

Jourdain was once accused of conspiring with Weise, and not knowing his punishment or other details frustrated victims’ family members, including Francis Brun, whose 28-year-old son, Derrick, was the security guard killed.

“It’s a double whammy for those of us that are victims, that have been denied the right to gather information about how our family member died and whether there was any evidence ... that may have given a rundown of Louie’s involvement with Jeff Weise,” Brun said.

Jourdain admitted last fall that he made threatening interstate communications, a crime that can carry up to five years in prison.

A court docket released in November, some of it blacked out, said the younger Jourdain used a computer to conduct interstate communications that “could be taken by an objective observer as threatening” sometime between Jan. 1, 2003, and March 2005.

The sentencing hearing was closed despite efforts by shooting victims and the media to make it public. Prosecutors told family members of victims they were prohibited from talking about the sentence, the families said.

Some of those at the courthouse Friday directed their frustration at Floyd Jourdain, who isn’t subject to any such restrictions.

“I don’t understand why he can’t come and tell us,” said LeeAnn Thunder, whose son Steven Cobenais was shot in the face in Weise’s attack. “I mean, it was closed upstairs, but he’s walking out right now, so why can’t he tell us?”

Cobenais, a sophomore, said he held Jourdain partly responsible for the shootings and hoped he would go to prison “because of what he did to us kids and all of our friends.”

U.S. Attorney Thomas Heffelfinger plans to meet with the families of Weise’s victims on Jan. 30, but he said Friday that he will not reveal the sentencing.

Heffelfinger also said that although the judge reminded Floyd Jourdain that the sentencing is a confidential matter, the court has no authority over the chairman.

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