Everything to know about Lacey Fletcher case
A court has dropped murder charges against the parents of a woman whose emaciated body was discovered “fused” to their couch after years of abuse.
Lacey Fletcher’s body, 36, was discovered semi-naked and sitting erect in a crevice in the couch by authorities on January 3, 2022. Her body, weighing only 96 pounds, was covered in urine, liquid feces, maggots, insect bites, and terrible sores.
In May of that year, a grand jury of 12 in Clinton, Louisiana, accused her parents, Clay and Sheila Fletcher, of second-degree murder. In July 2022, the pair was released on a $300,000 bond each and pled not guilty.
They were due to stand trial later this month, June 2023, but instead, District Judge Kathryn Jones dropped the charges following a hearing on May 30. Judge Jones reportedly cited a technicality in the wording of the indictment.
A grand jury had accused Clay and Sheila of second-degree murder.
On June 19, District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla plans to retry the case in front of a new grand jury. Mr. D’Aquilla anticipates the couple will be arrested on fresh charges and that the case will be tried by the end of the year.
After Sheila Fletcher called authorities to report that her daughter had stopped breathing, an officer was dispatched to the property in Slaughter, Louisiana. The entire area was said to stink, with the floor beneath the 1960s-style couch crumbling.
The local coroner said Lacey had “melted” into the sofa, with sofa material and faeces being found in her stomach. Her death was ruled a homicide by East Feliciana Parish Coroner Dr Ewell Dewitt Bickham III, who described the scene as “sickening”.
Lacey Ellen Fletcher’s body was found “fused” to the sofa in her home
Lacey’s body was discovered “fused” to a sofa saturated in bodily fluids (
East Feliciana Parish Coroner’s Office (Image)
“I’ve seen some horrible things in my life, but nothing like this,” he admitted. “The parents were cooking.” They were unable to provide an explanation. I was unable to eat for a week and cried for a week.”
Lacey may have been on the couch for at least 12 years, according to Dr. Bickham. Lacey died as a result of malnutrition, among other things.
“Her cause of death stems from at least a decade of medical neglect,” Dr. Bickham told WAFB.
Lacey had been diagnosed with autism and crippling social anxiety, meaning her parents took charge as her caretaker. The couple said Lacey would relieve herself on the couch or a towel placed nearby, and that Sheila would regularly clean her daughter’s sores.
He said the Fletchers claimed in 2011 or 2012 that Lacey was unwilling to leave the house, and reportedly never complained about staying home.
Lacey’s sores are claimed to have been cleaned by Sheila Fletcher. Lacey died while Clay Fletcher and his wife Sheila were supposedly away.
Mr D’Aquilla had argued for second-degree murder charges, claiming her parents had planned to murder her. The couple was apparently out of town when she died.
D’Aquilla told WAFB after the murder charges were dropped that the defense presented three reasons to dismiss the indictment. The first was for no particular reason, which the judge rejected.
The second was not signed by the foreperson, which was also disallowed by the judge. The third issue was the indictment’s phrasing, which the judge approved. The couple remains out on bond at this time.