Couple charged in toddler’s death
11-month-old had burns on lower half of body
A DeRidder woman and her boyfriend have been charged in the death of the woman’s 11-month-old infant son, authorities said.
Shamira Kimbrough, 24, and Christian Coutee, 25, have been charged with one count each of second-degree murder and second-degree cruelty to a juvenile. Their bonds were set by Judge C. Kerry Anderson at $1.9 million, with $1,250,000 each for the murder charge and $650,000 each for the cruelty charge.
According to authorities, the DeRidder Fire Department responded to a medical emergency call regarding the child at about 5:30 a.m. Monday morning. On arrival, the child was unresponsive and CPR was performed. The child was transported to the Beauregard Health System Emergency Room where he was pronounced dead.
Police Chief John Gott said the child suffered from severe burns on the lower half of his body and succumbed to those injuries due to a lack of care. He said those injuries occurred two weeks ago.
He said that fact was one reason the case was a difficult one for all involved.
“These types of cases are just horrible. It makes you wonder about the pain they (the victim) must have endured, hoping it was none,” Gott told the American Press. “Then you begin wondering what if it was your child and what would you do. You end up resting on the fact that they are now with God and all the pain is over.”
Gott’s emotions were echoed by the emergency responders who took the initial call. On Monday evening, the Fire Department’s social media page posted a request for thoughts and prayers from the public.
“As first responders we always prepare for the worse, but hope for the best. Please say a little prayer for our men and women of the DeRidder Fire Department, DeRidder Police Department, and Acadian Ambulance this evening. We love our jobs and do it with pride, but we are not made of stone. We hurt when our community hurts,” the post read.
As of Monday evening, both Kimbrough and Coutee remain in the Beauregard Parish Jail.