3-year-old hospitalized for brain injury, parents arrested for cruelty to a juvenile

State News

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KLFY)– Two parents have been arrested after officials say a 3-year-old was hospitalized with a brain injury they believe to be “non-accidental.”

26-year-old Jessica Matthews and 26-year-old Tyler Laborde have been arrested by the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office for 2nd degree battery, 2nd degree cruelty to juvenile, and cruelty to juvenile.

CPSO officials say detectives responded to a call at a hospital on on Monday of a possible cruelty to juvenile case.

They say a 3 year old boy had been brought in with a brain injury and was immediately taken into surgery due to the severity of his case.

Officials say detectives were also told that the boy had “extensive injuries and bruising from head to toe, in different stages of healing; which meant the bruises had occurred over an extended period of time.”

Authorities say medical professionals suspected the injuries were non-accidental.

During the investigation, detectives spoke with the child’s stepmother, Matthews, who said she was at home when she found the boy on the floor appearing to have a seizure.   

She stated she placed the boy on the floor of his room and went to get dressed and then called the boy’s father, Laborde, at which time he came home and they took the boy to the hospital.

After further questioning, officials say Matthews told detectives that the previous day Laborde threw his 4-year-old daughter out of her room into the hallway, causing her to fall.

Authorities say Matthews claimed Laborde did this because the 4-year-old took food from a 1-year-old girl, who is also living at the home. She added that Laborde then placed the 4 year old in time-out for approximately 4 hours. 

According to CPSO, she also told detectives that on a previous occasion the 3-year-old boy had been placed in time-out for approximately 3 to 4 hours by Laborde for spilling water. She also said he left bruises on the boy’s legs after spanking him with a belt. 

Officials say Matthews also advised detectives that only a few days before, Laborde held the boy’s face in the toilet, nearly touching the water, because he did not say he needed to use the bathroom.

When detectives spoke with Laborde, they say he denied throwing his four year old daughter but admitted to spanking the boy the previous day. 

They say Laborde also told detectives Matthews was the one who put the children in time-out on their knees for long periods of time. 

Matthews and Laborde were arrested and booked into the Calcasieu Correctional Center.  Their bonds have not yet been set. 

The 3-year-old boy currently remains in the hospital in critical condition.

All children in the home were placed in state custody by the Department of Children & Family Services.

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