The parents of a woman who died melted to a sofa in her own trash have been charged again with murder.
Clay and Sheila Fletcher were first arrested and charged with second-degree murder in May last year when their autistic daughter Lacey Ellen Fletcher, 36, died.
Last month a judge dismissed the charges against the parents after their lawyers pointed out flawed wording in the affidavits.
But on June 19, a grand jury indicted the Fletchers a second time on murder charges, The Advocate reported.
The couple were arrested again on the charges and released from prison on bail.
“We will ensure that justice is done for Lacey and that the public knows that caregivers will be prosecuted for neglect or abuse of a person in their care,” said Sam D’Aquilla, District Attorney for the 20th Circuit.
Lacey was discovered on January 3, 2022 at her family’s home in Slaughter, Louisiana. She was slumped on the sofa and covered with ulcers, sores, maggots and feces, authorities said.
Her parents denied the wrongdoing, saying Lacey was “in her right mind” and did not want to leave the living. They claim they brought her food and set up a toilet for her, but her daughter refused to leave the couch.
Lacey suffered from severe Asperger’s syndrome which leads to social problems and anxiety.
In a May 30 hearing, District Judge Kathryn Jones dismissed the initial charges against the Fletchers. The parents’ bail was initially set at $300,000 and they escaped from East Feliciana Parish Jail.
The couple’s attorney, Steven Moore, argued that D’Aquilla’s office served indictments showing six discrepancies with the court clerk’s filing. Differences included references to state statutes on cruelty to the infirm, which are not a charge related to second-degree murder.
In response, D’Aquilla said he planned to remove such references from the new charges.
A trial for the Fletchers is set to begin this fall.
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