Death penalty sought for Hanna Nicole Barker Louisiana mother who ordered lesbian lover, Felicia Marie-Nicole Smith to burn her 6 month old baby to death.
A mother accused of instructing her girlfriend to douse her baby in gasoline and burn him to death may be put to death following a motion by prosecutors.
The State of Louisiana announced last week they will pursue the death penalty against Hanna Nicole Barker, 23, if she’s found guilty of murdering her six-month-old son Levi Cole Ellerbe, in July 2018.
Prosecutors say the lesbian mother instructed her girlfriend at the time, Felicia Marie-Nicole Smith, 26, to kill her son on her behalf.
Barker initially claimed her baby boy being kidnapped after two people knocked on the door of her Natchitoches home in Louisiana, pepper-sprayed her in the eyes before running off with the child.
The Shreveport Times reported the mother at the time dialing 911 and telling an operator that her son had been taken. Within 90 minutes of the call police were alerted to a fire at a nearby railway, where they found the baby’s severely burned body.
Investigators believe Smith took Levi to the rail road at Barker’s request, poured gasoline over him and set him alight, before going to work her shift at a nearby IHOP restaurant.
Levi was rushed to hospital in a critical condition only to fatally succumb to his ‘profound’ injuries. The boy had suffered second and third-degree burns over 90 percent of his body.
Smith was arrested four days later and charged with first-degree murder. Barker was also shortly after charged with murder.
Natchitoches mother says she was only with Smith for attention and money:
During a preliminary examination hearing in September 2018, a Fire Marshall told the judge that Barker and Smith were in a romantic relationship, with Smith more interested in pursuing a courtship than the mother.
Barker apparently told officials that she was only with Smith for attention and money, and admitted to instructing her to kill Levi.
However her attorneys say there’s no way for prosecutors to prove the allegation, calling them false.
Barker was on probation for drug offenses at the time, and is said to have breach the terms of her agreement by having Smith stay inside her home.
Smith is scheduled to have a preliminary exam hearing on August 23. Typically, such hearings happen before the defendant is indicted as their purpose is to determine if there’s enough evidence to proceed with the case, the Alexandria Town Talk reported.
However, in granting the motion for the hearing, Judge Desiree Dyess said Smith didn’t have an attorney appointed for her until after her August 2018 indictment.
Barker’s hearing occurred in September 2018 and she was indicted the following month.
The mother’s trial has tentatively been set for January 13, 2020.
Prosecutors have also indicated they are likely to pursue the death penalty against Smith as well.
The state has filed its notice to seek the death penalty for Hanna Nicole Barker. https://t.co/4bURTM0sXU
— The Shreveport Times (@shreveporttimes) August 10, 2019