Levi Ellerbe’s mother is behind bars; charged with Principal to first-degree murder in his death


The Natchitoches Police Department and the La. State Fire Marshal’s Office have worked tirelessly together in order to learn the facts behind this homicide. The two agencies have worked as one since this investigation’s conception through extremely long days and nights with little to no sleep.

On July 25, Hannah Barker, w/f, 22, was charged with Principal to First-Degree Murder in the killing of her 6-month-old baby boy, Levi Ellerbe. Barker was booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center awaiting a 72 hour hearing.

Earlier this week, Natchitoches resident Felicia Marie-Nicole Smith was arrested for First-Degree Murder in the case. An additional charge is expected to be brought against Smith.

According to the State Fire Marshal’s release, “Investigators say Smith and Barker were known to each other prior to the homicide.”

“I want to highlight the determination and dedication of the team of investigators from both agencies who have doggedly worked this case from the start,” said State Fire Marshal Chief H. “Butch” Browning, “Rest assured, that diligent work is not over yet.”

Due to the extremely rapidly growing nature of this investigation, we must continue to restrict the information that is released. Therefore, no further information shall be released at this time. Thank you for your cooperation.

Louisiana Criminal Codes

RS 14:30 — First degree murder

§30. First degree murder

A. First degree murder is the killing of a human being:

RS 14:24 — Principals

§24. Principals

All persons concerned in the commission of a crime, whether present or absent, and whether they directly commit the act constituting the offense, aid and abet in its commission, or directly or indirectly counsel or procure another to commit the crime, are principals.