Gretna woman ordered held pending charges in child’s death _lowres

Ardella Lorio

Ardella Lorio waited hours after fatally injuring the 3-year-old nephew of her boyfriend before taking the toddler to the hospital, an investigator with the Gretna Police Department testified Thursday.

Lorio, 34, was arrested in October but saw the charges against her upped on Monday to second-degree murder. She initially told investigators that Jamell Brown was injured while hanging on an iron gate that she deliberately slammed. Pathologists with the Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office examined the child’s brain, however, and ruled Brown’s death a homicide.

After brief testimony from Detective Jerry Broome Thursday morning, Commissioner Paul Schneider found probable cause to hold Lorio without bond pending formal charges from the Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office.

Broome, who took Lorio’s statement, said the boy’s uncle was cutting hair at a barbershop around the corner at the time of the incident, and that Brown’s face and head were severely swollen.

Lorio is being held in the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center.

Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.