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Two juveniles arrested for beating toddler to death; mother, another adult charged with principal to murder

4 months 3 weeks 4 days ago Friday, February 16 2024 Feb 16, 2024 February 16, 2024 9:27 PM February 16, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Two juveniles, aged 10 and 12, were arrested Friday after allegedly beating a three-year-old girl to death while a group of children was left unsupervised. 

According to the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office, three-year-old Blessing Buckles was brought to a hospital in critical condition Monday, Feb. 12 around 3:45 a.m. Deputies said a juvenile called 911 and said that Buckles was not breathing, that there were no adults home and he didn't know the address of the house he was at. 

Law enforcement officers were knocking on doors in the area when Terica Scott and Dineshia YatesBlessing's motherpulled up with their hazard lights on. The women told deputies they had just left the casino. 

Emergency responders found Blessing unresponsive and not breathing. She was resuscitated and taken to a hospital where she died Wednesday, Feb. 14. Doctors told law enforcement that Blessing had a brain bleed as well as bruises and abrasions to the face and body that were consistent with blunt force trauma. 

Deputies said that another four-year-old girl who was left alone in the house had the same injuries. Detectives determined that the 10-year-old boy and the 12-year-old boy beat both of the girls. 

Arrest paperwork said Yates and Scott left eight children, with ages from 11-months-old to 12-years-old, home alone while they were gambling. During an interview after Blessing's death, Yates told officers that her and her children were staying with Scott for two weeks before the death happened. 

Both of the women said they knew about the abuse from the other children but did nothing to stop it. Arrest documents said the women saw bruises on at least one of the girls and they knew about the violent behavior in the home. Still, the women would leave the children unsupervised. 

The two juveniles were taken into custody, charged with simple battery and second degree murder and booked into the EBR Juvenile Detention facility. Scott and Yates were arrested for principal to battery and principal to second-degree murder.

According to parish records, Yates has been arrested multiple times for theft. In 2015, she was arrested for stealing $74 worth of items, including baby formula and toothbrushes, from a Winn-Dixie. Store managers told law enforcement she frequently stole from the store.

In 2017, Yates was arrested for stealing twice. Arrest documents said she stole $20 worth of clothes from a Walmart. Later that year, she broke into a home and stole an iPad, two guns and business checks. Officers said she went to a Speedy Cash store and tried to cash a check worth $2,980 to herself before employees called law enforcement. 

In 2020, a person called law enforcement after Yates threw a brick into their windshield. Arrest paperwork said the person was driving along Airline Highway when Yates pulled out in front of them, stopped her car, grabbed a brick and smashed the drivers-side windshield. 

Yates was arrested again the same year and booked for driving on a suspended license, resisting an officer, aggravated escape and theft.

Scott was previously arrested for second-degree murder in 2021 and arson in 2022. She never went to trial for the murder charge, as the grand jury opted not to formally charge her. 

As of Sunday, both women were in jail and their bond was set at $20,000 each.

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