Mother of Quawan Charles sues Janet Irvin, Baldwin Police, St. Mary Sheriff’s Office

St. Mary Parish

ST. MARY PARISH, La. (KLFY) — The mother of Quawan “Bobby” Charles, 15, has filed a civil lawsuit for damages against Janet Irvin, St. Mary Parish Sheriff Blaise Smith, and members of the Baldwin Police Department after Charles’ death in 2020.

A lawsuit only represents one side of a story.

Specifically named in the suit are the following:

  • Baldwin Police Chief Harry “Boo Boo” Smith
  • Baldwin Asst. Police Chief Samuel Wise III
  • St. Mary Parish Sheriff Blaise Smith
  • Janet Irvin
  • Gavin Irvin (Janet Irvin’s son)
  • Tyler LeGros (Janet Irvin’s boyfriend)
  • The Baldwin Police Department
  • The St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office
  • XYZ Insurance Company (Baldwin Police Department’s insurance company)
  • ABC Insurance Company (St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office insurance company)

According to the suit, Quawan Charles was reported missing on Oct. 30, 2020. He was allegedly picked up from his home by the Irvin family without his mother’s knowledge and taken to Irvins’ trailer 25 miles away in Loreauville. Charles and Gavin Irvin, 17, allegedly got into a physical fight. The Irvins say Charles wandered away from their home later that night in “a dazed and confused state.” The coroner later found low levels of drugs, including THC, alcohol and psylocibin in Charles’ system.

Charles’s body was eventually found Nov. 3, 2020, drowned in shallow water in a cane field. The coroner’s report suggested that Charles may have had a psychotic break, leading to suicide, an idea his family has rejected. His official manner of death remains undetermined.

The Irvins and LeGros are accused in the suit of failing to report Charles missing, failing to contact Charles’ family, and failing to attempt to find him, despite the fact that they had taken him “25 miles from the safety of his home without permission of his family.”

Meanwhile, the suit is also accusing St. Mary Parish law enforcement agencies of failing to “follow the law and statutory protocols for missing children.” The St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Baldwin Police Department, Harry Smith, Sheriff Blaise Smith and Wise are all being accused of failing to notify Louisiana State Police about a missing minor. They’re also accused of failing to ping Charles’ mobile phone. Charles’ body was eventually found after the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office pinged the phone.

Baldwin Police later told News 10 they weren’t capable of pinging the phone, though it was later discovered that all the department needed to do was contact Charles’ phone provider for such a service.

In February of this year, Janet Irvin was arrested on charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and failure to report a missing child. Her bond was originally set at $400,000, but was later lowered by a judge two months later to $90,000. She has since bonded out of jail.

The entire lawsuit can be viewed below:

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