Lacey Ellen Fletcher’s Parents Face Reindictment and Charges

In a shocking turn of events, the mother and father of the late Louisiana girl, Lacey Ellen, found themselves detained and facing murder charges. Sheila and Clay, the distraught parents, were held responsible for their autistic Lacey Ellen tragic suicide, which occurred just days after initial allegations against them were dismissed. The discovery of Fletcher’s decayed body, “fused” to the family’s sofa, sent shockwaves through their Slaughter home on January 3rd, 2022.

Lacey Ellen

The accused couple, Sheila and Clay, now find themselves at the center of abuse and neglect accusations that span over a harrowing 12-year period. Although initially indicted on second-degree murder charges, the case took a surprising turn when District Judge Kathryn “Betsy” Jones dismissed the charges on May 30. The judge cited inconsistencies in the language used in the affidavits of charge, which defense attorneys argued had been purposefully flawed to support allegations of cruelty against the elderly, as reported by the Daily Mail.

However, despite the dismissal, justice finally caught up with Sheila and Clay, as they were convicted of second-degree murder in connection with “acute medical neglect” following Fletcher’s tragic demise. The investigation revealed the devastating truth behind Fletcher’s life—a severe autism diagnosis, social anxiety that confined her to the home for 15 long years, and a haunting existence restricted to the couch for over a decade. The heartbreaking details unveiled a grim reality—Fletcher’s body covered in maggots, soaked in urine and feces, with agonizing sores and ulcers on her lower torso. At the time of her passing, she barely weighed 96 pounds.

Dr. Ewell Bickham, the East Feliciana Parish Coroner, attributed Fletcher’s untimely demise to a shocking case of “severe medical neglect.” Chronic malnutrition, acute starvation, immobility, the formation of agonizing ulcers, and ultimately, bone infection leading to sepsis, all contributed to her tragic end. He recounted the horrific extent of her suffering, noting that she hadn’t even received proper eye care until the age of 16, almost “melting” into the hole created by the couch.

District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla expressed his belief that justice had been served with Sheila and Clay’s indictment. “For this type of crime… second degree is the highest charge that could have been produced today,” the judge passionately stated. “You do not treat anyone or any animal like that. It was time to act, and when we all gathered and stood on the same platform, and we’re all here and we’ve got an indictment for second-degree murder,” D’Aquilla emphasized, his voice filled with a mix of determination and disbelief.

Yet, in a bewildering turn of events, Sheila was released from the East Feliciana Parish Jail on May 3, 2022, after posting a $300,000 bond. Her spouse, Clay, followed suit on May 4, 2022. Despite the grave accusations leveled against them, the couple adamantly denies any wrongdoing. They argue that Fletcher was capable of communicating with them and displayed no apprehension about her condition.

Moreover, they contend that their 36-year-old Lacey Ellen had been suffering from “some degree of Asperger’s syndrome” since she began homeschooling after ninth grade. During a police interview, the parents claimed that it was Fletcher’s choice to remain on the couch, occasionally taking showers on the floor or on a nearby towel. Sheila Fletcher even asserted that she diligently cleaned her daughter’s body sores on a regular basis.

Steven Moore, the defense attorney representing Sheila and Clay, took action on May 8th by filing motions to dismiss the second-degree murder charges against his clients. Moore argued that the district attorney had submitted different documents to the local court clerk, creating six crucial but subtle differences. “In sum, the indictment in the record is either a substitute or a different indictment returned by the grand jury,” Moore wrote passionately in his defense motion, a revelation obtained by The Advocate. The attorney claimed that one of these handwritten amendments introduced flawed language that weakened the accusations of brutality, suggesting an insidious attempt to “create a new crime.”

Moore stated boldly in his report, “The District Attorney seeks to convict the Fletchers of second-degree murder by improperly amending the indictment so the State can attempt to convict by a lesser burden.” Eventually, the court sided with the defense’s motion, leading to the dismissal of the second-degree murder charges against Sheila and Clay on May 30. However, their respite was short-lived, as the Fletchers were rearrested and re-indicted the very next day. If found guilty of their child’s murder, they face the grim possibility of life behind bars, a fate that hangs over them like a dark cloud.

Leave a comment