A Baton Rouge man accused of murder in the 2013 beating death of his girlfriend's infant daughter pleaded guilty Friday to cruelty charges and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Larry Leflore's girlfriend, Ashley Heard, was convicted of second-degree murder in 2015 and is serving a life term.
A Baton Rouge mother was convicted Thursday night on murder and cruelty charges in the June 2013 death of her 11-month-old daughter, who died …
Leflore, 30, was accused of hitting 11-month-old Aaliyah Heard and throwing her after she refused to eat grits.
He was charged with first-degree murder and second-degree cruelty to a juvenile, but prosecutors were not seeking the death penalty out of concern for the emotional well-being of the girl’s brother, who was six at the time she was killed. He testified at his mother’s trial and was expected to take the stand at Leflore’s trial.
Baton Rouge prosecutors won’t seek the death penalty against a man accused of inflicting fatal injuries to his girlfriend’s nearly 11-month-ol…
A murder conviction would have carried a mandatory life sentence.
“There is no jail sentence that could ever compensate for the tragic death of Aaliyah Heard who was an infant at the time of her death,” East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III said Friday.
“This plea was taken under careful consideration weighing all interests including but not limited to concerns for the juvenile sibling of Aaliyah who witnessed his sister’s brutal murder, the defendant’s willingness to accept responsibility, and a final resolution of the case,” Moore added.
Aaliyah suffered blunt force trauma to the head, a broken collarbone and other injuries. She also had cigarette burns on her body, including one on her upper thigh the size of a golf ball.
Her brother testified at Heard’s trial that he was afraid of Leflore, and that Leflore hit his mother and would beat his sister with a slipper and belt.
Aaliyah’s autopsy revealed bleeding and bruising on the brain, hemorrhaging in an eye, facial bruising, a broken collarbone, rectal tearing and burns on her body.
Ashley Heard, 33, called the East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney’s Office less than a week before she was indicted and told prosecutors her daughter’s rectal tearing was caused by constipation and that the large mark on her upper right thigh was a carpet burn.
Heard stated in the recorded call that she took Aaliyah to her pediatrician for the alleged constipation and burn, but the doctor testified at Heard’s trial that he never treated the child for constipation or a burn. He was shown a photograph of the burn and said it did not resemble a carpet burn.
Prosecutor Kathleen Barrios argued at Heard’s trial that the woman was criminally negligent for failing to shield her daughter from abuse at the hands of Leflore.