Posted: Jun 14, 2013 10:34 PM by Erin Steuber
Updated: Jun 17, 2013 1:58 PM
New information in the case of a mother and her boyfriend accused in the death of her three-year-old son. We want to warn you, the details of this story are disturbing.
Landon Broussard is charged with first degree murder and aggravated rape of a child, in the death of Julian Madera. Julian's mother, Laura Smith, is charged with second degree cruelty to a juvenile in the death of her son. The district attorney's office says they will seek the death penalty against Broussard.
It was back in November when Madera was found lifeless in a home on Kaliste Saloom Rd. in Lafayette. He later died at the hospital. An autopsy revealed the boy died of blunt force trauma to the head, face and neck. But court documents show this was not the first time police were called to that house.
Just weeks before 3-year-old Julian Madera was killed, a patrol officer spotted Julian and his mother, Laura Smith, on the side of E Broussard Rd. in Lafayette. Smith told the officer she was being physically abused by her boyfriend, Landon Broussard, but did not want to pursue charges.
"A victim of domestic violence is not prepared to moved forward, not prepared to get themselves out of that environment, and or take these children out of that environment," said Capt. Kip Judice with the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office. "They are tying our hand up to some degree."
After confronting Broussard about what happened, the officer escorted Smith into the house to gather her belongings and drove her and her son to Faith House. Broussard was not arrested, because Smith refused to press charges.
Fast forward three weeks later, the 3-year-old boy is found dead in the care of Broussard. Both Broussard and Smith are taken in for questioning, and as court documents reveal their stories of what happened were vastly different. Broussard originally claims he left Julian unattended in the bath tub and returned to find him unresponsive, claiming his injuries were from a door accidentally falling on him. Smith claims a similar story and says she never saw her son's injuries. After hours of questioning stories change. Broussard claims Smith was beating her son. And Smith begins to talk about the abuse towards her and Julian, telling police the week he died Julian suffered two black eyes, a busted lip and a swollen head.
"By returning and reintroducing the baby into that environment we felt as if the evidence was sufficient to proceed with charges against Ms. Smith," said Judice.
Both Broussard and Smith are being held at the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center.