Teenager who killed 6-year-old girl in Claremont gets probation
A teenager who murdered a 6-month-old baby girl and seriously injured her mother in Clarendon, killing her, pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree murder and manslaughter.
The girl’s grandmother told jurors the killing was senseless and she never wanted to see her granddaughter suffer again.
The boy, identified as Jonathan, was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison.
The sentence was the result of a plea bargain reached by prosecutors and defense attorneys, who said the boy had no prior criminal history and did not have a history of violence or mental illness.
The court heard the girl’s mother, Amanda Brousseau, said she had no idea the boy was planning to kill the baby.
During closing arguments Monday, defense attorney Christopher J. Muell told jurors that prosecutors had offered Jonathan an opportunity to plead guilty and avoid a death penalty sentence, but that they were rejected.
Prosecutors asked for a sentence of 10 to 15 years.
The judge sentenced the boy to 25 years.
The sentencing followed the killing of Amanda Broussard, whose 3-month old daughter was in the care of the family.
The toddler was found dead in a wooded area near a family member’s home in Clarebrook, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of Claremont, in September 2014.
Prosecutors said Jonathan, who has a history for mental illness, killed the baby because he thought his mother would not stop crying.
The judge noted that Jonathan had no criminal history.
Jonathan’s attorney argued that the boy has a mental health problem, but defense attorney Jeffrey F. Karp argued that Jonathan did not display any mental illness and that he was an ordinary, young child who had no history of serious injury or mental health problems.
Jonathan was arrested after he drove to the family’s home and killed the girl, according to police reports obtained by the Associated Press.
Prosecutors said the death was a murder-suicide.
Amanda Bousseau and her family moved out of the home in August, leaving Jonathan to care for the infant.
After the killing, Jonathan was placed in the custody of the Department of Children and Families.
The case has sparked an outcry over what has become an epidemic of violence in Clarethon, where the city is located.
Claremont has one of the highest homicide rates in the country, with more than 1,000 people killed in 2015.
A similar killing in May in nearby Bexar County prompted calls for tighter restrictions on the right to bear arms.