Walker couple pleads guilty to child cruelty, drug charges
LIVINGSTON - A couple arrested by police in June for leaving their 6-month-old daughter locked in a parked car at a Walker department store pleaded guilty to the child cruelty and drug charges against them on Tuesday.
Billy Arthur Henry Jr., 35, was sentenced to four years at hard labor with credit for the time he has spent in Livingston Parish Detention Center since his June 27 arrest. Lana Henry, 32, was sentenced to seven years at hard labor with all but the time she has served since her arrest in June suspended.
"Ordinarily, we would have preferred that Ms. Henry serve significant jail time for her violations. However, the circumstances of this case are such that the interests of all concerned are best served if Ms. Henry receives the counseling she needs and is able to commence parenting her children as a sober, responsible dedicated mother who has learned to put the needs of her children ahead of everything else." Walker Police Captain John Sharp said.
Any violation of the terms of the mother's probation will result in revocation of her probation and immediate imprisonment for the service of her sentence.
The Henry's were arrested by Walker police when officers responded to reports of a small child in a locked, unventilated vehicle parked in a Walker department store parking lot. When officers made contact with the infant's parents, it was learned that Billy and Lana Henry were both under the influence of narcotics.
During the investigation, it was learned that the Henry's three other children were with family members in Walker, but they could not tell officers where the family lived. It was also learned that the Henry's did not recall bringing the 6-month-old child with them to the department store.
Lana Henry was found to be in possession of a variety of narcotics when police searched her during the arrest, and both were booked into the parish jail.