Thursday, August 15, 2019

US Mother who asked friend to burn her six-month old son faces execution

A mother accused of asking her girlfriend to douse her baby with gasoline and burn him to death faces being executed.

The State of Louisiana has applied for Hanna Nicole Barker, 23, to be put to death if she is convicted of the July 2018 murder of six month-old Levi Cole Ellerbe.

They filed the motion last week, just over a year after Barker was arrested and on suspicion of asking girlfriend Felicia Marie-Nicole Smith, 26, to kill Levi for her. Barker, of Natchitoches in Louisiana, claimed that Levi was kidnapped by two people who knocked on her door, sprayed her face with pepper spray then ran off.


She dialed 911 to report him missing, with a woman driving home spotting a fire on a nearby hill, next to a railroad track, an hour later.

Smith is said to have taken Levi there at Barker’s request and doused him with gas, before setting him alight and going to work at an IHOP pancake restaurant. Smith was arrested four days later and charged with first-degree murder, the Alexandria Town Talk reported.

Barker was arrested and charged with the same offense four days later.

Levi was found with third-degree burns covering 90 per cent of his body, and died the next day.

During a court hearing last September, a local Fire Marshall lieutenant told a judge that Barker and Smith were romantically involved, but that Smith was more interested in pursuing the relationship than Barker.

Barker is said to have told officials that she was only with Smith for attention and money, and that she had asked her lover to kill Levi.

Barker’s attorneys say there is no evidence to prove that allegation.

The alleged killer was on probation for drugs offenses at the time, and is said to have breached its terms by having Smith at her home.

Barker is set to go on trial in January 2020. Smith is yet to be arraigned, but is back in court later this month, with prosecutors also likely to request her execution if she is convicted.


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