DA seeking death penalty in infant murder case

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Hannah Barker could face the death penalty when she goes to trial. Barker is charged with criminal conspiracy and principal to first-degree murder in the July 2018 burning death of her infant son, six-month-old Levi Ellerbe.

District Attorney Billy Joe Harrington filed a “Notice of intent to seek death penalty” with the Natchitoches Parish Clerk of Court Aug. 1. That document was filed to notify the defendant of the DA’s intent to seek the death penalty in this case.

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The document reads as follows: The State of Louisiana will rely upon the following circumstances enumerated in Code of Criminal Procedure Article 905.4. 1) The defendant was engaged in the perpetration and attempted perpetration of cruelty to juveniles and second-degree cruelty to juveniles 2) The offense was committed in an especially heinous, atrocious, and cruel manner, and 3) The victim was under the age of 12 years. A certified copy of the document was served to Barker’s attorney, J. Dhu Thompson, Aug. 1.

In August 2018, a grand jury returned a true bill indictment of first-degree murder against Felicia Marie-Nicole Smith, 26, of Natchitoches, Barker’s alleged accomplice in the murder.