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Parents charged with murder of daughter 'fused' to sofa in own waste leave jail on $300k bond
5 May 2022, 06:33
The parents of a woman who died "fused" to a sofa covered in maggots after being left in a couch-crater for 12 years have been allowed to leave jail on a $300,000 bond, authorities say.
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Sheila, 64 and Clay Fletcher, 65, were released on May 3 and May 4, after each of them posted a $300,000 bond, according to Sheriff Jeff Travis.
The pair were indicted by the grand jury on May 2 with second-degree murder, after the death of their 36-year-old daughter Lacey Ellen Fletcher.
Ms Fletcher, who suffered from locked-in syndrome, was found dead at their home in Slaughter, Louisiana, in what a coroner described as a scene like a “horror movie”.
Following the indictment, the Fletchers turned themselves in to East Feliciana Parish Jail.
District Attorney Sam D'Aquilla told the Daily Mail that the couple could be arraigned within the next two months. A trial could begin as soon as October.
When she was found by officers on January 3 , Ms Fletcher was partially clothed, sitting upright but sunk down into the sofa, which was soaked in human waste.
She was covered in insect bites and surrounded by insects and rodent droppings, a coroner told DailyMail.com.
Her parents called 911 because Ms Fletcher wasn't breathing, prosecutors said.
Her condition meant Ms Fletcher suffered from complete paralysis of all voluntary muscles except for the ones that control the movements of the eyes.
Those with locked-in syndrome are conscious and awake, but have no ability to produce movements or to speak.
The parents were supposed to be the girl's care providers, but the coroner said she had not been to a doctor in 20 years.
Her death has been ruled a homicide and the “cause behind her death stems from at least a decade of medical neglect”, Dr Bickham said.
Dr Bickham revealed that Lacey had been on the couch for at least 12 years.
Neighbours of the couple said they were not aware they had a daughter and described them as "pillars of the community", according to the DailyMail.com.
They initially were not arrested because they were not considered at risk of fleeing. The Fletchers were arrested on Monday afternoon.
Outside the court on Monday, when the pair turned themselves in, District Attorney D'Aquilla said: "I believe justice was served here today. Lacey Fletcher didn't deserve the way she was treated.
"For this type of crime… second degree is the highest charge that could have been produced today."