Parents charged with murder in 8-month-old's beating death
BATON ROUGE - Two parents are facing murder charges for the death of their 8-month-old son, one of them accused of repeatedly beating the infant and another who admitted she let the abuse go unchecked.
The East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office announced the arrests of La'Dre Doucette, 28, and Mary Williams, 30, on charges of first-degree murder Wednesday.
The sheriff's office said deputies were first called to the couple's Oakside Drive home on Monday after the 8-month-old became unresponsive. The child was taken to a hospital that day and pronounced dead by medical staff.
Neighbors said the situation left them rattled and in disbelief.
"Even my dog when one of her babies fell off the porch, she went down and sat down on the side of her, she would not let anyone hurt her babies," Rose Mary Comena said. "What kind of person would hurt a child that wants nothing but you to love them?"
Deputies said the couple abruptly left their house hours after the child's death and were later arrested at another address in Baton Rouge.
An autopsy performed Tuesday revealed the infant had trauma to his spine, torso and the back of his head. He also had fractured ribs, punctured lungs and damage to other major organs.
"I can't believe anyone would hurt their child that's barely crawling," Comena said. "If it's not crawling yet, how could they do that. What kind of mind frame do you have?"
Arrest records said Williams admitted that Doucette, the boy's father, had punched or struck their son on at least eight different occasions because the child wouldn't stop crying. She told investigators she did nothing to stop the abuse because she was afraid of Doucette, according to the arrest documents.
Doucette has a lengthy criminal history with convictions for burglary, home invasion, aggravated second degree battery and felon in possession of a firearm.
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