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Man admits killing 1-year-old girl, is sentenced to life in prison for second degree murder

1 month 2 weeks 1 day ago Monday, February 26 2024 Feb 26, 2024 February 26, 2024 5:53 PM February 26, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - A man who pleaded guilty to killing 1-year-old Ja'leah Fontenot has been sentenced to life in prison. 

On March 27, 2021, officers found Ja'leah unresponsive with bruises and a large burn on her back. She was taken to a hospital where she later died. Ja'leah's mother, Christy Fontenot, and her mother's boyfriend, Jonathon Dunn, were both arrested following the baby's death. 

A family member told WBRZ that Dunn was caring for the child when he got high and passed out. 

"He felt something either bite or scratch him. He just slung it to the wall. How could you not know that's a baby. She was a big baby. How could you not know this?" said Ja'leah's aunt, Lorna Sterling.

Sterling told WBRZ that family members asked Fontenot to stop leaving Ja'leah in Dunn's care after he threatened to kill the child. 

Dunn was originally booked for first-degree murder and second-degree cruelty to a juvenile. Court records show he was only indicted for second-degree murder, which he pleaded guilty to Monday and was sentenced to a mandatory life term.

Fontenot pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 20 years in prison with no parole. 

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