Mother, boyfriend could face death penalty for killing 2-year-old left in Houma trash can
HOUMA, La. (WVUE) - The Terrebonne Parish District Attorney said Wednesday (July 13) he might seek the death penalty against a woman and her boyfriend accused of murdering her 2-year-old son Ezekiel Harry.
The morning after Tuesday’s grim discovery of the missing child’s corpse, stuffed in a duffel bag dropped in a city garbage can, Houma officials said the case had rocked their community.
Houma Police Chief Dana Coleman said the boy’s mother -- 28-year-old Maya Jones -- called authorities Tuesday to report someone in a gray truck had snatched the toddler off the roadway and fled the area. Houma police almost immediately cast doubt on the mother’s account, saying detectives quickly developed information that led them to suspect foul play.
Coleman showed snapshots from surveillance video that showed Jones walking and driving around with a black duffel bag that allegedly contained the boy’s lifeless body, before dumping it in a trash can on Daspit Street.
The bag containing Harry’s body was found in the trash can around 6 p.m., Coleman said.
Jones and her live-in boyfriend -- 37-year-old Jermaine Robinson -- are facing first-degree murder charges.
“This is absolutely a death penalty case,” D.A. Joe Waitz said. “What happened to this little 2-year-old shocks the conscience.”
Waitz says his office will meet with the victim’s family before making a death penalty determination. He says the case should move to a grand jury for indictments in “relatively short order.”
Louisiana has carried out only one execution in the past 20 years.
Neighbors report ongoing abuse at Harry’s home, saying they heard screams and contacted authorities multiple times.
“For over a month now, (I) have been calling the cops and cps (Child Protective Services) and nothing happen!!” neighbor Sara Plaisance posted to Facebook. “I would cry at night listening to those kids scream and cry inside that house. My heart is breaking so much. I knew it was just a matter of time before would happen and I knew it would be soon, but there was nothing else I could do.”
Coleman said investigators are looking into whether there was a documented history of abuse at Harry’s home, but said past physical abuse is suspected.
The parish coroner will determine Harry’s official cause of death upon completion of an autopsy.
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