Parents charged with cruelty after baby shot, found burned with cigarettes

State News

SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The parents of an 18-month-old who was shot Sunday afternoon appeared by video in Caddo District Court Tuesday.

Cambria Lewis, 26, the child’s mother, and his father, 40-year-old Arthur Watkins, were arrested late Sunday afternoon after they took their son to a local hospital with a gunshot wound to the hand.

In their first court appearance, the couple told Caddo District Judge Ramona Emanuel they could not afford a lawyer, so she appointed the Caddo Public Defenders office to represent them.

The two are charged with cruelty to their son after Shreveport Police responded to reports of a shooting in the 100 block of East Herndon Street around 2 p.m. Sunday.

When they arrived, officers saw a great deal of blood, but could not find a victim. A witness told police the Watkins and Lewis had left the scene with the baby in a grey 2014 Hyundai Sonata.

Shortly thereafter, police received a call from Willis Knighton North informing them a young child around 2-years-old with a gunshot wound to the hand and his mother had been dropped off.

SPD officers responded to the hospital where they found the baby and Lewis

According to Lewis’ arrest affidavit, In addition to the gunshot wound, hospital personnel found the child had several cigarette burns across his body, had not been bathed in days, had matted hair and was wearing a diaper three sizes too small for his body.

Following his evaluation at WK North, the toddler was transferred to LSU Ochsner’s Health for further treatment. Child Protection was called and took custody of the little boy.

While officers were at the hospital, other SPD patrol officers located Watkins’ vehicle in the 1900 block of North Hearne Avenue. However, when officers tried to execute a traffic stop, Watkins accelerated, tried to turn into the Windsor Village Apartment Complex, but missed the road and crashed into a ditch.

Watkins tried to flee, but officers were able to apprehend him and take him into custody.

Shreveport police arrested Lewis and charged her with second-degree cruelty to a juvenile. She is being held on a $200,000 bond at Caddo Correctional Center. Watkins is charged with second-degree cruelty to a juvenile and flight from an officer and is being held on $210,000 bond at CCC.

Both Lewis and Watkins are scheduled to be back in court on June 30 for further proceedings.

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