Grand Jury indicts parents after disabled daughter left to die on couch for 12 years

An East Feliciana Parish Grand Jury returned true bills for Sheila & Clay Fletcher, the parents of Lacey Ellen Fletcher, 36, for charges of second-degree murder. That means, on May 2, 2022, the grand jury found there was enough evidence to move forward with a trial against the Fletchers.

The parents, Sheila & Clay Fletcher, turned themselves into the East Feliciana Parish Prison soon after the indictments. Their bond was set at $300,000 each. Sheila bonded out late Tuesday night while Clay bonded out Wednesday morning.

Fletcher’s body was found on Jan. 3, 2022 at her parents home in Slaughter in East Feliciana Parish on Tom Dr. Her body was covered in her own waste, had bed sores down to her bones, maggots crawling over her remains and she weighed only 96 lbs. at the time of her death. She had also somehow been exposed to Covid-19 and had multiple infections in her body. Officials said she may have been on the couch since 2010.

East Feliciana Parish Coroner DeWitt Bickham said her death was a homicide from “severe chronic neglect.”

Officials said Fletcher was autistic & became mentally incapacitated at some point in her life. Her parents are accused of leaving her on the couch for years. She would not get up to eat or use the bathroom.

“It’s neglect on the parents against the infirmed. Second-degree murder requires intent. I think they purposedly chose not to feed their daughter and neglect her to the point that she died on the couch,” said East Feliciana Parish District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla.

Officials who worked the case describe it as “one of the worst they can ever recall” with the smell of human decay and waste and the condition Fletcher was found in.  

Fletcher’s friends from grade school reached out to Unfiltered with Kiran and wanted to make it known that Lacey was not someone who stayed to herself always. She had friends, had a life, played sports with her friends and was ‘normal.’

One friend in particular said she could remember Lacey always emailing her music videos she loved and the Disney rides. “She loved music, especially Country music!! Loved Disney world! Talked about it all of the time!!! She would send us emails all the time about how much she loved it and would send us videos of all the rides she loved! We have emails from her up until 2014,” said her friend Tina Head.

“There’s a group of about twelve of us who have been speaking in a group since all of this came out, most of us went to school with her, a couple of our mothers and even one of our middle school teachers. We were all in complete shock,” said Head. “We all thought over the years that something was strange. I would always look at Sheila’s Facebook and see that her and Clay were always out and about, at dinners and LSU sporting events and family gatherings, but never anything of Lacey. She never even spoke of her. I looked back at her page one time and the last time she had posted a picture of her was back in 2011, I believe. Who goes over a decade without posting a picture of their child? So something has always felt off, but none of us could have ever ever imagined this!”

Another friend, Allison Falcon said, “We went to a small, private school with Lacey from kindergarten to 9th grade. Lacey was far from nonverbal and immobile during those years. While she did have some learning differences, which was later diagnosed as autism, she had friends, played on a volleyball team and bowling league, had slumber parties, loved going to Disney, and most of all loved music, especially country music and Mariah Carey. She had an outstanding memory and could recite so many facts.”

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