Two people held responsible for the death of a Ouachita Parish girl in 2015 were given a slap on the wrist on Tuesday, June 4, 2019.
Russell Flowers and Clarissa Hector (also known as Clarissa Hammond) each pleaded guilty to negligent homicide in the death of 5-year-old Brooklyn Scout Brister.
According to court documents, Flowers was sentenced to serve 5 years. Hector, the girl's mother, was sentenced to 4 years and 6 months.
Brooklyn Scout Brister died in July of 2015. Authorities say Clarissa Hector originally reported that her daughter drowned in the Ouachita River behind her residence on Hooter Road in the Monroe area. Hector later said she lied about the river drowning after Flowers, her boyfriend, threatened to kill her and her children.
Court records show that the child died from multiple blunt force injuries. There were multiple contusions found on the victim's body. An autopsy categorized the injuries as both old and recent.
During the investigation, other children in the home at the time told investigators that Flowers would give them "whippings" and then make them sit in hot baths in an effort to reduce signs of bruising. Hector told investigators that Flowers did this to Brooklyn just before her death. Hector also said she tried to stop Flowers, but Flowers held a gun to her, so she could not help her daughter. According to court records, child protective services removed the other children after Brooklyn's death.
Investigators with the Dept. of Children and Family Services later said they determined that both Flowers and Hector were caretakers of the children at the time of Brooklyn's death. They said there was a lack of supervision in the household as well as neglect and passive abuse by both defendants. Hector disagreed with their findings in court. For her part, Hector said she was also a victim of Flowers' abuse.
Hector pleaded guilty to negligent homicide in January of 2019. During a court hearing, records show that despite the plea, she still maintained her innocence, saying she didn't believe she would get a fair trial. She said she didn't trust her life in the hands of jurors. She vehemently denied taking part in her daughter's death but said she was risking her life by going to trial on a second-degree murder charge and said she had no faith in the justice system. Hector told the court that she did not abuse or physically punish her child.
Prosecutors said that both defendants blamed each other for the child's death.
Two people held responsible for the death of a Ouachita Parish girl in 2015 were sentenced on Tuesday, June 4, 2019.