NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A Marrero couple pleaded guilty Thursday to obstruction of justice charges in the death of their son 2-year-old Timothy Thompson, whose badly decomposed body was found last July buried in a plastic bag under the Huey P. Long Bridge in Elmwood.
Gabrielle Whittington and Onterio Thompson, both 22, were sentenced to five years in prison - three of those years suspended - followed by three years of probation.
They were originally booked July 7 with obstruction of justice and unlawful disposal of human remains, one day after authorities say Thompson led investigators to a shallow grave where the toddler was found.
The coroner's office determined Timothy's death to be a homicide, but the cause of death remains undetermined.
Whittington and Thompson have not been booked with murder in Timothy's death, though prosecutors said in court Thursday that the Jefferson Parish District Attorney's Office continues to screen a homicide case against the couple.
According to our partners our Nola.com-The Times-Picayune, after Timothy's body was discovered, the couple told detectives a television accidentally fell on the boy while they were sleeping, authorities said.
An autopsy found no evidence of the kind of trauma that would support the falling-television story, authorities said.
The couple had been under investigation by the Department of Children and Family Services after the child's grandmother Laverne Thompson took Timothy and his sister to the hospital for treatment of what she believed was malnutrition.