Lafayette man suspected in child’s death also accused of rape

A Lafayette man who faces the death penalty in the prolonged beating death of a 3-year-old child in 2012 was indicted Wednesday on a charge of raping the child.

According to the Lafayette Parish District Attorney’s Office, a grand jury charged Landon C. Broussard with one count in the aggravated rape of “J.M.,” a child born Jan. 29, 2009.

The indictment, made public Wednesday evening, says the rape occurred Nov. 29.

Broussard, 21, was indicted earlier this year on a count of first-degree murder in the death of Julien Madera.

Paramedics tried to revive Julien’s naked body on Nov. 29. Julien was pronounced dead after Broussard carried the boy to Broussard’s grandmother’s home on Kaliste Saloom Road.

Prosecutor William Babin in April told state District Court Judge Durwood Conque that the District Attorney’s Office would pursue the death penalty against Broussard in Julien’s slaying.

According to an affidavit used in Broussard’s arrest after the boy died, Julien suffered blunt force trauma to several areas of his body, his eyes were swollen shut, one of his ears was torn and his body was covered with bruises from beatings over a period of time.

Records show Broussard is scheduled to attend a hearing in Conque’s courtroom on June 17.

He is being held without bond in the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center. There was no indication Wednesday when Broussard’s arraignment on the rape charge would occur.

Julien’s mother, 23-year-old Laura Smith, has been charged with second-degree cruelty of a juvenile.

In late November, Smith tearfully answered questions during a court hearing after Julien died, prompting 15th Judicial District Court Commissioner Thomas Frederick to say: “Hold on Mrs. Smith. It’s too late to cry.”

A call placed to Broussard’s court-appointed attorney in the murder case, J. Clay Lejeune, of Eunice, was not immediately returned Wednesday evening.

In Louisiana, a conviction of aggravated rape carries a penalty of death or life in prison with no parole.