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Affidavit details injuries to child authorities say died from severe abuseComments 47
HARDIN COUNTY - A judge has set bond at more than $1 million each for a mother and boyfriend charged with Injury to a Child in connection with the death of the woman's 4-year-old daughter.
State District Court Judge Steve Thomas arraigned Amanda Nichole Guidry, 30, and her boyfriend, Jason Wade Delacerda, 34, Friday afternoon on 1st Degree Felony Charges of Injury to a Child.
He set Delacerda's bond at $2 million and Guidry's at $1.5 million.
The judge appointed attorney Sonny Cribbs to represent Delacerda and Jimmy Hamm to represent Guidry.
6 News reporter Lindsey Kovacevich will have a followup report on the story we first brought you Thursday at 6. Watch Friday on Live at 5 and KFDM News at 6 and 10.
Investigators say the child suffered physical and sexual abuse, and neglect, for months.
The Hardin County Sheriff's Office and Child Protective Services are investigating the death of the child in what Sheriff Ed Cain and CPS spokeswoman Shari Pulliam tell KFDM News is "one of the worst child abuse cases" they've ever seen.
District Attorney David Sheffield says additional charges could be filed in the case.
KFDM News has obtained a Probable Cause Affidavit for the arrest of Delacerda and Guidry.
According to the Affidavit, Delacerda admitted making the 4-year-old stand barefoot on water caps.
Investigators spoke with two male juveniles who said they saw him make the girl stand on the bottle caps and observed Delacerda strike the child in the head and torso several times. The juveniles also said they saw him kick the girl several times on her body. Investigators say Delacerda admitted to those actions.
The Affidavit states Guidry told investigators that she observed Delacerda throw the child across the room on one occasion.
The court document indicates he admitted spilling hot coffee on her foot and thigh and causing burns, and he admitted spanking the child so hard with a wooden paddle that he caused injury to her buttocks.
Guedry, according to the document, admits she knew her daughter was being abused and failed to seek medical attention or to report the actions to law enforcement.
The Affidavit states the child suffered a number of injuries that include, numerous broken ribs in various stages of healing, abrasions to her left temple, a bruise in the middle of her forehead, a burn mark on her left chest, a burn to her inner right upper thigh, a burn to the top of her foot, bruising to her vaginal area, severe burns to both buttocks, bruising to her left shoulder, and an old fracture on her left leg.
A neighbor told KFDM News they saw the girl outside only a couple of times. The last time was about two months ago. They told us she was never allowed outside. The neighbor said the mother and boyfriend always had an excuse about why she couldn't come outside to play.
The girl weighed 32 pounds.
"That child suffered months and months of physical abuse, sexual abuse and also neglect," Shari Pulliam with Child Protective Services told KFDM News.
Funeral arrangements for the girl are pending with Broussard's Mortuary in Koutze.
Late Thursday afternoon deputies arrested the mother, Amanda Guidry, 30, and her boyfriend, Jason Delacerda, 34, and jailed them on 1st Degree Felony charges of Injury to a Child. If convicted they could face up to life in prison.
Sheriff Cain says the boyfriend called 911 Wednesday night and an ambulance took the child to Christus Hospital Saint Elizabeth. She died at about midnight. Sheriff's deputies and Child Protective Services began investigating and visited the couple's mobile home off Highway 69 in Kountze. Investigators say there were visible signs of abuse. A preliminary autopsy shows the four-year-old girl died of blunt force trauma to the head. The autopsy report lists the preliminary manner of death as homicide. Toxicology results are pending.
Sheriff Cain said the mother and boyfriend voluntarily came to the Sheriff's Office for questioning Thursday afternoon and were arrested following the questioning.
Shari Pulliam with CPS says investigators with her agency are shaken up after seeing what Pulliam calls abuse the girl suffered. Investigators believe it went on for nearly six months. The Sheriff and Pulliam say it's one of the worst cases of abuse they've ever seen. Pulliam says nearly every one of the girl's ribs was shattered.
"Old fractures and new fractures," said Pulliam. "Almost every rib on this child was fractured. The child had a skull fracture, multiple cigarette burns to the chest. Large burn on her foot and both buttocks."
Cain said the girl had "numerous bruises and burns, basically from head to toe." The Sheriff said she was the victim of severe abuse going on the last several months. According to Cain, his office is consulting with the Hardin County District Attorney's Office and other charges might be filed in the case.
"I've never seen anything this bad," said Sheriff Cain. "Doctors agree and they're saying it's pretty bad. I can't believe it went on this long without anyone bringing it to our attention."
Cain said it hurts him to see children who are abused.
"Any time there's a child involved, they are totally helpless. An adult can help themselves but children like this, they can't help themselves. It's a serious case. It's sad, it's tragic. This child has suffered a lot."
Pulliam says the girl would have turned five in December. According to Pulliam, the girl was malnourished. She weighed only 32 pounds. Pulliam says that's a definite sign of abuse. She says no calls were made to indicate any abuse was going on in the home.
"There's no reason that could make someone do something like this to a small innocent child," said Pulliam. "What we ask the community, if you think a child is being abused or neglected, you need to make a report to the hotline."
The child abuse hotline number is 1-800-252-5400.
Pulliam says there are ways to prevent abuse from occurring by looking at the warning signs. They include unexplained marks or bruises on a child's body. Neighbors and friends need to become aware if the child's behavior changes or if the child has unexplained weight loss. If parents find it hard to control themselves out of anger, Pulliam says to step away from the situation, take time to calm down, call and talk to someone.
Sheriff Cain is consulting with the Hardin County District Attorney's Office and says additional charges could be filed.