NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - A New Orleans East man pleaded guilty to killing his 4-week-old daughter and has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Arsenio Chambliss, now 29, was accused of killing the newborn in January 2017. His trial for second-degree murder was set for Dec. 9, but he made the plea agreement in Orleans District Criminal Court on Thursday (Oct. 3), District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office said.
Chambliss pleaded guilty to an amended charge of manslaughter and guilty as charged to second-degree cruelty to a juvenile, and Bonin imposed concurrent 30-year sentences on each count.
The infant girl was found unresponsive inside the family's home in the 7800 block of Coronet Court by New Orleans EMS, who responded to a 911 call from the child's aunt shortly before 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 17, 2017.
The child’s mother had last seen the baby healthy during a diaper change between 2 and 3 a.m., and had left the house a few hours later to take another child to school and go to job interviews, prosecutors said. The woman left Arsenio Chambliss as their daughter’s caretaker that morning.
An autopsy determined the infant died from blunt-force injuries to her head, according to the Orleans Parish Coroner's office. Pathologists also found older healed rib fractures, a likely sign of previous abuse.
This child's mother told police she was asleep when Arsenio Chambliss got up to feed the baby a bottle around 5:40 a.m. About an hour later, she said the child's father had the infant laying on his chest, concealed under a blanket.
She told police she was looking for employment when the infant's father called around 11 a.m. to say the baby was cold and had shallow breathing and had not responded when placed into a warm bath.
The newborn’s mother called her sister, asking her to go check on the baby. The infant’s aunt called 911 at 11:23 a.m., after finding the child lifeless in a car seat inside the house. Efforts to resuscitate the child were unsuccessful.