SLAUGHTER, La. - A Louisiana couple has been re-indicted on second-degree murder charges for the death of their 36-year-old daughter who was found "melted" into a feces-covered couch and weighing less than 100 pounds, records show.
According to court records, a new indictment for second-degree murder was filed on June 19 against Sheila and Clay Fletcher for the death of their daughter, Lacey, in January 2022.
Clay Fletcher and Sheila Fletcher
The couple was originally charged with second-degree murder last year and pleaded not guilty. However, according to WBRZ, those original charges were recently tossed out due to an issue with the language used in the charging documents.
According to an incident report from the East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Department last year, investigators found that Sheila had called 911 around 2:27 a.m. on January 3, 2022, and reported that her 36-year-old daughter was not breathing.
Slaughter police and the fire department responded to the scene. Lacey was pronounced dead.
According to a report by a Slaughter Police Department officer who responded to the scene, he found the young woman’s body in a severely damaged portion of the sofa that was filled with feces.
Sheila reportedly told the officer that Lacey had refused to eat for several days.
A report from the Jefferson Parish Forensic Center shows that Lacey had skin ulcers, maggots, and signs of malnutrition. According to the New York Post, a local medical examiner described Lacey as having "melted" into the couch.
The sheriff's office report stated that based on the hole created in the couch cushion where she sat, it appeared she had been in that position for quite some time.
According to the police officer’s report, Sheila said that Lacey had been diagnosed with Aspergers, which made her unsocial. Both parents reportedly stated that she hadn’t seen a doctor in a long time.
Clay told authorities that Lacey had developed phobias of things that had made her afraid to get off of the couch for any reason, according to the sheriff's office report.
The sheriff’s office report states that a doctor of psychology who treated Lacey as a teenager told the coroner he had last seen her for treatment in 2002, but he spoke to her parents on the phone in 2010. According to the report, the physician said that Lacey had been diagnosed with autism, and that he had suggested that her parents contact the coroner to make her go to the doctor.
According to the sheriff’s office report, Sheila said that the one time the topic of calling the coroner came up, Lacey didn’t want to do that. Sheila reportedly stated that she believed her daughter was of sound mind to make the decision and didn’t have any problems with her intellectual abilities.