Parents of woman found ‘melted’ to maggot-infested sofa ‘loved daughter to death’ as they face manslaughter charges

7 February 2024, 14:53 | Updated: 7 February 2024, 14:59

The parents of Lacey Fletcher 'loved their daughter to death', a court has been told.
The parents of Lacey Fletcher 'loved their daughter to death', a court has been told. Picture: East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Department/Handout

By Jenny Medlicott

The parents of a woman whose body was found fused to a sofa and coated in her own faeces and urine ‘loved their daughter to death’, a court has heard.

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Lacey Fletcher, 36, was found ‘melted’ into a maggot-infested sofa at her parents’ home in East Feliciana in January 2022.

She was caked in her own faeces and urine and her body was covered in sores and ulcers from sitting there for 12 years.

Her parents, Sheila and Clay Fletcher, both 66, pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of manslaughter for the death of their daughter on Monday.

Initially, the pair faced second-degree murder charges, which they repeatedly denied.

This was reduced to manslaughter after they agreed to plead guilty to the reduced charge.

Speaking at a Louisiana courthouse, the pair’s attorney said they had no intention to harm their daughter and that they “loved her to death”.

Attorney Steven Moore told the court on Monday: “They were negligent, yes. It is clear they were negligent. They loved her to death – that is the true statement with the Fletchers.

“They loved their daughter to death”.

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Lacey suffered from 'locked-in' syndrome, her parents said.
Lacey suffered from 'locked-in' syndrome, her parents said. Picture: Handout

He continued: “When you look back at it, you wonder, why? How could this happen? It did happen.

“But at no point did Sheila or Clay Fletcher ever have a single intent to harm their daughter. They loved their daughter to a fault.

“Their life revolved around Lacey Fletcher… They lived for Lacey Fletcher.”

He said Lacey’s parents are “completely remorseful” following her death.

Lacey suffered from a neurological disorder called locked-in syndrome, had Asperger’s syndrome, and struggled with social anxiety, her parents said.

They also said she refused to leave the living room but had a “sound mind”.

They claim they provided Lacey with meals and a makeshift toilet.

She was found fused to the sofa at her parents' home.
She was found fused to the sofa at her parents' home. Picture: East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Department

Mr Moore continued: “Anyone with handicapped children can tell you those things can happen. This is an extreme example of how that happens.

“They have taken responsibility. Now they look back, they can’t believe they got to the position they’re in”.

Neighbours of the married couple appeared at the court to support them but one advocate for Lacey, Dana Lovett, said that “nobody should have to have lived like (Lacey) did all these years”.

While East Feliciana District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla said the pair allowed Lacey to “suffer unbearably on that couch”.

Forensic pathologist Dana Troxclair’s autopsy report said Lacey had been found with maggots present in the “perineum and areas of the decubitus ulcers”.

She described Lacey as having “extremely dirty, matted/knotted hair with feces and maggots” and “insect bites to her left ear, face and arms” that were present before she died, the MailOnline reports.

Her cause of death was cited as sepsis due to a series of subsequent conditions, including a bone infection osteomyelitis.

Prosecutors are seeking a maximum 40-year sentence for the parents and sentencing has been scheduled for March 20.

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