Parents face murder charges in connection with baby’s death
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office reported the parents of an infant who died Monday, Feb. 21, were arrested on Wednesday, Feb. 23.
Deputies said Ladre Doucette, 28, and Mary Williams, 30, both of Baton Rouge, are charged with first-degree murder in the death of 8-month-old La’dre Doucette.
According to the probable cause report, the child’s father, Ladre Doucette, “inflicted great bodily harm” on the little boy on several occasions that resulted in trauma that caused his death. It added Williams, Doucette’s girlfriend and the victim’s mother, was present when some of those incidents happened.
EBRSO Public Information Officer Casey Hicks stated that this was the first time that the sheriff’s office was called out regarding this family.
“It’s disturbing and it’s devastating to anybody, especially to a mother of children to even think about doing something like that to a child,” said Hicks. “And to witness something like that and not step in and protect your child or speak up it’s really just unbelievable.”
A family member contacted Doucette and Williams and was able to help law enforcement get them to return to their home, at which point they were taken into custody, Hicks added.
The probable cause report also pointed out Williams said Doucette began physically abusing the child in January. She reportedly told investigators Doucette beat their baby for crying and she was there on eight separate occasions to witness it but didn’t report it to authorities.
“If you see something, say something. Better safe than sorry. Please call authorities or call law enforcement. Let someone know if you see something or if you think a child might be being abused,” explained Hicks.
Court documents show EBRSO dispatch received a 911 call for medical assistance because an 8-month-old boy was unresponsive at a home on Oakside Drive. They added patrol deputies and EMS responded to the scene. The baby was taken to the hospital where he later died, according to the PC report.
Homicide detectives and the coroner’s office were then contacted to investigate the death, officials said.
The autopsy noted trauma to the back of the head, about the spine, torso, and upper extremities, the report stated. It added the infant also had fractured ribs, bruised and punctured lungs, and damage to other major organs. Officials said based on the findings, the death was ruled a homicide.
“We take it very seriously. Anytime we have a death investigation, our detectives treat it as if it could be anything. They want to make sure they follow all of the right protocols and gather all the right evidence. So, that’s exactly what they did in this case. Sometimes it could turn out to be a natural death but this was not the case. So, fortunately, they did everything they were supposed to in this case. But, it’s obviously devastating to think that they weren’t able to find out sooner than something happening to the child,” noted Hicks.
According to reports, it was learned the baby only weighed about eight pounds at the time of his death due to medical issues.
Court documents indicate Doucette has previous arrests on charges of attempted armed robbery, home invasion, and narcotics possession. Williams has been arrested on a few theft charges in the past.
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