Lafayette: Couple indicted in death of boy

A grand jury indicted a Lafayette couple in the beating death of the woman’s 3-year-old son in late November, according to the Lafayette Parish District Attorney’s Office.

A grand jury late Wednesday charged Landon C. Broussard, 21, with first-degree murder in the death of Julian Madera. The grand jury also charged Julian’s mother, Laura D. Smith, 23, with second-degree cruelty to a juvenile.

Lafayette Parish sheriff’s deputies were called at 10:22 a.m. Nov. 29 to the home of Broussard’s grandmother on Kaliste Saloom Road where Broussard had arrived minutes earlier carrying Julian’s naked, lifeless body.

Emergency responders were unable to revive the child, who would have turned 4 on Jan. 29.

Julian was pronounced dead at nearby Women’s and Children’s Hospital, sheriff’s officials said.

Authorities arrested the couple soon after Julian was pronounced dead.

Broussard is being held at the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center. Smith is out of jail on $250,000 bond, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

According to the arrest affidavit, Broussard told his grandmother he found the unresponsive boy in the bathtub on the morning of Nov. 29, which investigators determined was “inconsistent with the injuries observed.”

Smith told detectives that she had been abused by Broussard and that she had seen him abuse Julian, according to the affidavit used to support Smith’s arrest. She told detectives she was too afraid of Broussard to seek help, the affidavit stated.

“The suspect (Smith) had several opportunities while she was away from her boyfriend at school to seek aid for her child but did not,” investigators wrote in the affidavit.

“The victim instead repeatedly left her son in her boyfriend’s care while she attended class,” according to the affidavit.