Officials: Charges upgraded for parents after twins abused & one died

BATON ROUGE — Charges have been upgraded for the parents of six-week-old twins after the duo was arrested for “inflicting severe bodily injury” to the babies, resulting in the death of one of the infants.

Brandee Williams, 26, and Darryl Richardson, 24, have now been charged with first-degree murder and two counts each of second-degree cruelty to juveniles.

Williams’ bond for murder is set at $500,000 and $250,000 for each cruelty charge. Meanwhile, Judge Michael McDonald has placed a hold on Richardson for the first-degree murder charge and set a $250,000 bond for each charge of cruelty to a juvenile.

Source: East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office

Emergency crews were called to the couple’s home on Southfork Ave. in Baton Rouge on April 14. Richardson told East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s deputies that he’d put one of the twins in a bassinet for a nap. When Williams tried to wake the baby for a feeding, she told investigators that she was unable to wake him.

Arrest documents show that the baby had hemorrhaging to its skull, scalp and eyes. It’s injuries the sheriff’s office’s detective says are consistent with shaken-baby syndrome.

On Thursday, the Dept. of Child & Family Services issued a statement in response to the 1-month-old baby’s death:

As a Department, it is our desire to provide information that we are allowed to provide, while maintaining the respect and dignity of those involved and those who confidentially report suspected child abuse and/or neglect.

DCFS is saddened to report the tragic death of a 1-month-old male who passed away on April 14, 2023. The child’s death was ruled a result of Shaken Baby Syndrome and was reported to DCFS on April 17, 2023, upon completion of the autopsy.

DCFS received custody of the surviving children on April 18, 2023. The Department initiated a comprehensive medical exam of the children that revealed concerning injuries in the surviving twin.

A sibling of the deceased child was the subject of a child welfare investigation in March of 2022. DCFS found the father was responsible for the abuse, but the mother had not harmed the child. When DCFS’s involvement ended, a criminal protective order was in place, prohibiting the father from having contact with the child.

The other infant was taken to the hospital and was found to have traumatic skull fractures and a fractured femoral bone. The baby was removed from the home by the Department of Child Family Services.

Investigators say both parents denied any abuse. Investigators say additional charges are likely in this case.

This is a developing story. Check back often for new information.

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