Louisiana

Indictment: Natchitoches woman set baby on fire, went to work

(Alexandria Town Talk)- After Felicia Marie-Nicole Smith set baby Levi Cole Ellerbe on fire, she left him and went to work at IHOP, according to the indictment against her.

Smith is facing a first-degree murder charge in the July 18 death of the infant, who was just days from turning 7 months old. She was indicted Aug. 30 by a Natchitoches Parish grand jury.

Natchitoches Parish District Attorney Billy Joe Harrington said at the time of the indictment that the investigation remains active.

The indictment contains some previously unreleased details in the case. Among other documents filed Wednesday with the Natchitoches Parish Clerk of Court's Office is an order with a handwritten note that states Smith reportedly confessed.

The indictment reads that Smith took Levi from the Mayberry Trailer Park home of his mother, Hanna Nicole Barker, around 9:10 p.m. on July 17. She left the park in the 5600 block of the La. Highway 1 Bypass and took the boy about a mile away, to the 700 block of Myrtle Street.

It states that Smith poured gasoline on the baby and set him on fire. Then she went to work just before 10 p.m., it reads.

A call about the fire was received by the Natchitoches Fire Department around 10:25 p.m. It was made by a woman, Kanika Johnson, who saw it as she was driving to her Breda Avenue home.

The fire was spotted from the opposite side of an elevated railroad track, and Johnson said she thought some kids might have set it. She didn't find out what had happened until the next morning.

Firefighters found Levi lying on his stomach in the fire, reads the indictment.

The baby was rushed to Natchitoches Regional Medical Center with second- and third-degree burns over approximately 90 percent of his body. He later was transferred to Louisiana State University Hospital in Shreveport, but died around 3:35 a.m. July 18.

The gag order was issued July 30 by 10th Judicial District Court Judge Desiree Dyess.

It was issued "to prohibit any such dissemination of information as law enforcement has made a number of statements in the recent past," it reads.

Read more about the indictment here.


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