A Lacombe woman accused of fatally beating her foster child pleaded not guilty to a second-degree murder charge Monday in a St. Tammany Parish courtroom. Bail was set at $1 million.
Trenique Faciane, 41, did not speak as her attorney, Buddy Spell, offered her plea and asked for bail.
During the bail hearing, Susan Johansen, of the Capital Defense Project, testified that she had spent 10 to 12 hours with Faciane and another 60 or more hours talking to her family members and people who knew her.
Faciane had no criminal history, no indications of issues with drugs or alcohol, and nothing that showed she would be a risk to herself or others if released, Johansen testified.
In response, Assistant District Attorney Jerry Smith asked Johansen if she thought Faciane would have given any of those indications before the events for which she is facing a murder charge.
“No,” Johansen said.
Judge William Knight, of the 22nd Judicial District Court, said he took the severity of the allegations, as well as Faciane’s ties to the community and lack of addictions, into account in setting bail at $1 million.
Spell objected, saying he thought the bail was too high.
Before the hearing, Faciane wiped tears from her eyes, her hand trembling. In the gallery was a group of women wearing matching T-shirts and buttons with Madison Parrott’s photograph on them.
Faciane had been held without bail since shortly after the 22-month-old girl’s death in May.
Faciane told detectives that she used a hairbrush to beat Madison and then shook her and dropped her in a bathtub, according to the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office.
The child was taken to the Lacombe Heart Hospital after a 911 call in which she was described as vomiting and unresponsive. The hospital called the Sheriff’s Office because her injuries aroused emergency room staffers’ suspicions.
Faciane was first booked on second-degree cruelty to a juvenile and rebooked on first-degree murder when Madison died.
The cause of death, according to the Coroner’s Office, was blunt-force trauma with bleeding in the brain.
At the time of her arrest, Faciane was part owner of Wee Wisdom Learning Center, a child care facility in Slidell.
Travis and Mindy Parrott, the girl’s parents, are suing the state Department of Children and Family Services, three DCFS employees, Wee Wisdom and Faciane in Madison’s death.
Mindy Parrott said she had reported suspicions of abuse to the DCFS for at least a month before her daughter’s death.
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