Sun, Dec 2, 2012
According to The Advertiser, three-year-old Julian Madera confided in his mother the night before he died that he was afraid of her boyfriend. Why didn’t she do something?
The next morning he was dead, covered in bruises and other signs of trauma from what investigators say was brutal, ongoing abuse leading up to the child’s death on Thursday.
The boyfriend, Landon Christopher Broussard, 21, of Lafayette, has been charged with first-degree murder and is being held without bond in the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center. The mother, Laura Smith, 22, also of Lafayette, has been charged with being a principal to first-degree murder for failing to seek help for the child, and is being held for a $500,000 bond.
The child may have been suffering for days before his death. Smith told investigators she saw Broussard beat and abuse her son — and force him to eat feces — several days before his death but said Broussard stopped her from taking the child to the hospital on Tuesday, according a sworn statement from Lafayette sheriff’s Deputy George Crowder.
She said Broussard had repeatedly beaten her, too, and she was too afraid to cross him.
On Thursday morning, Broussard brought the naked, unresponsive child to his grandmother’s home at 3706 Kaliste Saloom Road around 10:22 a.m. He said a door had fallen on the child the previous night and that he had found the child passed out in the bathtub that morning. The grandmother immediately called 911.
Police realized at once that the child’s injuries didn’t match with Broussard’s story, according to the sworn statement.
“Doctors at Women’s and Children’s found the child had suffered severe blunt force trauma to the head, face and neck,” read an affidavit for Smith’s arrest. “Both of the child’s eyes were swollen shut. The inside of the child’s upper lip was split. The child’s ear was torn and bruised. The child’s scrotum was red from abrasion and the child’s anus had a large tear from some sort of trauma. The child’s body was covered in bruises both old and new. The child died as a result of these injuries suffered while in the care of the above suspect and her boyfriend.”
Why? Why? Why? What kind of sick monster would do this to a child?
Smith told investigators that Broussard had abused her throughout their relationship, and showed detectives several bruises she said were caused by Broussard. She said she was “very afraid.”
The Lafayette Parish Coroner’s Office ruled on Friday that the child’s death was a homicide, cause by multiple trauma.
Evidence seized from home, truck
A search of Broussard’s home in the 1500 block of East Broussard Road and of his truck on Thursday found further evidence of abuse, according to the affidavit.
A red face print, believed to be made in blood, was found about five feet off the floor in Madera’s bedroom, and drops of blood were found in the bedroom and bathroom. The clothes the child was wearing on Wednesday night were in his room, including a torn shirt that appeared to have blood on the collar and pants that were full of fecal matter.
More of the child’s clothes were found in Broussard’s truck, and also contained what is believed to be blood and fecal matter, investigators said. Several towels apparently used to wrap the child’s body contained an unidentified pink substance.
The mother told investigators she had seen Broussard kick and push the child, and said she had seen that the child’s eyes were swollen shut, that he had bruising to his ears and the redness in his genital area, according to the sworn statement.
“The suspect advised she expressed concern for her child’s injuries and the welfare for the victim as early as Nov. 27, 2012 but her boyfriend refused to allow her to bring him to the hospital and she was afraid to disobey him,” according to the statement.
Trey Williams, spokesman for the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services, said the department has no record of any history with anyone involved in the case.
String of prior arrests
Smith does not have any criminal convictions in Lafayette Parish, but Broussard has been arrested in at least six different incidents since 2008, as well as on multiple bench warrants for failing to appear for court dates, according to a search of district and city court records.
Most recently, on Nov. 4, he and Smith were both arrested and charged with contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile. The pair was stopped just after 2 a.m. in the 100 block of Hanchey Street near Broussard while driving without their lights. A deputy found a juvenile inside the vehicle who had left her home without her father’s knowledge or permission, according to an arrest affidavit in the case. Broussard and Smith both were released on misdemeanor summons.
Broussard is also facing felony charges in the 15th Judicial District Court after being arrested on April 25. He has been charged with simple criminal damage to property, entry/remaining after being forbidden, two counts of simple battery and being a principal to a simple robbery. Court records show that he is accused of battery of a Lafayette woman and for allegedly damaging a 2006 Honda CRV. He has pleaded not guilty.
City court records show that Broussard was also arrested Oct. 9 on a charge of disturbing the peace by fighting.
He was arrested on April 30, 2011, on a charge of simple criminal damage to property. Records show he pleaded no contest and was sentenced to five months in jail, with all but 30 days suspended and credit for time served. He was also placed under a one-year probation which included the condition that he stay away from the victim.
Broussard was arrested twice in 2010. On Jan. 25 of that year he was arrested for disturbing the peace. He pleaded guilty in February 2011 then pleaded no contest during a misdemeanor trial on April 12, 2012. He was ordered to serve 10 days in jail, with credit for time served. On March 3, 2010, he was arrested on a charge of remaining at a location after being forbidden. He was eventually sentenced to five months in jail, with all but 30 days suspended.
Prior to that, he was charged with theft under $50 in November 2008, for which he pleaded no contest.
Court records also show that Broussard missed multiple court dates, and that judges frequently issued bench warrants for his arrest after his missed appearances.
The couple’s Facebook pages provided some details of their lives. According to Smith’s Facebook profile, she has attended Unitech Training Academy and is scheduled to finish sometime in 2013. She graduated from Lafayette High School in 2009 and before that attended Fairfield High School in Fairfield, Texas.
She posted several photos of a young boy, identified as her son, including one in April of him in a hat and overalls with the caption “my love.” Another photo from April shows the boy in what appears to be a hospital bed, with Smith holding him and the caption “poor baby.” A Facebook posting in September noted that the child was set to have been baptized in Fairfield on Oct. 20.
Smith also posted several quotes about love and relationships.
“You can’t live your life for other people. You’ve got to do what’s right for you, even if it hurts some people you love,” read a Nicholas Sparks quote Smith posted to her profile in August. Other quotes allude to overcoming obstacles in relationships, working at love and finding love.
Broussard’s Facebook profile shows that he has worked at Boudreaux’s Custom Works LLC in Duson since June. He graduated from Comeaux High School, according to his profile. The page also includes photos of Broussard in a sleeveless white shirt, with his tongue sticking out, among others.
Josh Boudreaux, owner of Boudreaux’s Custom Works, confirmed that Broussard had worked at his business for a few months, but had no other comment on him or the situation.
In his profile, Broussard wrote that he is “gettin this money living ma life to the fullest,” then goes on to use a derogatory word against women. Broussard describes himself as “very blunt”»give it to u raw and uncut,” followed by a racial slur and curse words.
“On a money makein mission soo if u aint talkin cash money DON’T holla 2dueces2,” the profile continues.
On Aug. 27, Broussard posted the following status update: “Just doin me and doin just fine miss you but I know its fa the best good luck.” Smith commented on the status with “Miss u to and your right it’s for the best”».:///.”
No court dates have been set.
Source: The Advertiser