Mother and city blame the other for child's death
BATON ROUGE - Police arrested a mother in the death of her child Tuesday, the same day she sued the city for her child's death.
Brittni Clark is charged with negligent homicide. Her four-year-old son Jassiah Clark was found dead December 22, two days after he was reported missing.
Police found the boy's body in a water-filled hole near the family's home on Robertson Ave. in Baton Rouge.
The hole was left behind from a sewage pipe that was filled with a sand and concrete mixture. But the mixture was washed away during a heavy rain, according to city officials.
Baton Rouge police say they found a pattern of neglect leading up to Jassiah's death and blame his mother for the child falling in a hole and drowning.
"There's been other times in the past that he has been missing for not only hours but sometimes days with no recollection of who he was with at the time," Cpl. Don Coppola said.
In Clark's arrest report, officer say the mother was known to have a drug problem, and text messages from Clark's phone showed the day Jassiah went missing the mother was looking for sticks and bars. Both are a common slang for illegal drugs, according to police.
"To be trying to shift the blame to anyone else is awful," Clark's attorney Lewis Unglesby said. "No one will suggest that she was responsible for this secret hole left by the people doing the work for the sewer system."
Unglesby blames the city for leaving the dangerous hole where he says anyone could have fallen in and died not just an unattended child.
"You ever had children? Little children are left alone all the time," Unglesby said. "Every child who was abducted was for a moment left alone. Every child that's ever drown in a swimming pool was for a moment left alone...There's not two sides to this. It's not okay to try to divert attention from their fault."
Tuesday afternoon, Clark's civil attorney, Peyton Murphy, filed the lawsuit against the city and others.
The suit claims the City Parish of East Baton Rouge, Grady Crawford Construction, CH2M Hill Incorporated and two insurance companies for liable in Jassiah's death.
At this time, bond has not been set for Clark.
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