Matthew Flugence sat stone-faced, his eyes downcast, as a Jefferson Parish detective testified Wednesday that Flugence not only confessed to stabbing 6-year-old Ahlittia North four times before stuffing her body in a trash bin, but also claimed that the tiny girl had seduced him into having sex with her before he “snapped.”
In Flugence’s version of events, “she wanted to have sex with him,” Detective Travis Eserman testified.
After stabbing the child in the neck with a pocket knife, Flugence stabbed her again after she fell and twice more in the abdomen as she lay on a blanket behind an abandoned apartment complex in Harvey, just down the street from her Destrehan Avenue home.
Then, Eserman testified, Flugence “said he just watched her die.”
The testimony came during a hearing at which public defenders sought to convince a 24th Judicial District Court magistrate commissioner that there wasn’t enough evidence to hold Flugence on a first-degree murder charge related to Ahlittia’s shocking death in July and a sexual battery charge against an unnamed 10-year-old girl in 2012.
But after hearing the testimony from Eserman and Detective Donald Ray, Commissioner Patricia Joyce ordered Flugence held without bond.
“Thank God,” muttered someone from the audience, which included a young girl wearing a shirt with Ahlittia’s picture on it.
Eserman testified that Flugence, 20, gave four audiotaped statements that culminated in the confession, in which Flugence said he saw Ahlittia just after sunrise on the morning of July 13. He said she invited him behind the building and initiated the sexual contact, removing both her clothes and his.
Eserman testified that Flugence said he wrapped Ahlittia’s body in her blanket and put it in a trash bag and then into the trash can where it was later found.
Under cross-examination by defense attorney Paul Fleming, Eserman testified that Flugence first said he stabbed Ahlittia with a sword, changing the description to a pocket knife only after Eserman told him he had the knife that Flugence had on him when he was arrested. The alleged murder weapon, Eserman said, is still being processed by the crime lab.
Under questioning from Fleming, Eserman testified that Flugence initially said he shot Ahlittia. While casings were found with her blood behind the building, Eserman said he knows of no evidence the girl was shot.
Eserman told Fleming that he does not know whether the coroner found evidence of sexual assault during the girl’s autopsy.
Fleming also asked Eserman if detectives were aware that others have been accused of sexually abusing Ahlittia and whether those avenues have been ruled out. Eserman said that they have.
Earlier in the hearing, Ray, the other detective, testified that in 2012 he interviewed a 10-year-old girl related to Ahlittia who said Flugence had touched her vagina, and who later suggested more sexual contact might have happened.
Flugence’s brother, Russell Flugence, 21, was also arraigned Wednesday after being charged late Tuesday with failure to report the commission of a felony related to the case. Eserman testified that Russell Flugence told detectives that later on July 13, Matthew told him what he had done that morning.