Man sentenced in death of 15 month-old child

Man sentenced in death of 15 month-old child
Tristan Williams, 32 (Source: Bossier Parish District Attorney's Office)

BOSSIER PARISH, La. (KSLA) - According to the Bossier Parish District Attorney’s Office, a man has been sentenced to serve 38 years in prison at hard labor for the death of a toddler who had been left in his care by the child’s mother.

Tristan Dion Williams, 32, of Bossier City, was left in charge of his then girlfriend’s two daughters, who were 15 months and 28 months old, when she was hospitalized unexpectedly in March 2017.

During her hospitalization, the mother and Williams had a heated exchange by phone which led her to be concerned for her children.

When a relative went to check on the children, the older child was unharmed but Serenity Sloan, 15 months, was found strapped into a car seat and was completely unresponsive. The relative performed CPR but the child never regained consciousness and died the next day.

Serenity Sloan and her older sister Sa’Riyah Sloan.
Serenity Sloan and her older sister Sa’Riyah Sloan. (Source: The Sloan Family)

An autopsy later determined that Serenity died from blunt force trauma to the head.

Williams was identified by police as the only possible suspect and was arrested for the child’s death. He pled guilty to manslaughter in September 2020 and faced up to 40 years in prison.

Following a pre-sentence investigation, Judge Parker Self sentenced Williams to 38 years at hard labor for killing the child. Due to the age of the child, the sentence that was imposed must be served without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence.

In documents referenced at the sentencing hearing, Williams claimed that the child might have been injured in a fall and he believed that the child was alive and responsive when he put her in the car seat.

“All murder cases are hard to deal with but deaths involving babies are some of the toughest things we have to deal with” noted Bossier/Webster District Attorney Schuyler Marvin. “I want to thank the Bossier City Fire Department for their efforts to try to save the baby’s life and the Bossier City Police Department for their excellent investigation. I also want to thank Judge Self for his diligent review of the pre-sentence investigation and of the statements submitted by the baby’s family” Marvin continued.

The grandmother said after the sentencing that “Justice was served today for Serenity Sloan”.

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