The Monsters in Lacey Ellen Fletcher's Home: 'CHURCHGOING pillars of community' face life in prison
The parents of Lacey Ellen Fletcher -- an autistic woman who was found dead and "fused" to a sofa in her own excrement -- have been charged with second-degree murder.
WARNING: This article contains information that some people may find triggering or upsetting. Discretion is advised.
The parents of Lacey Ellen Fletcher -- an autistic woman who was found dead and "fused" to a sofa in her own excrement -- have been charged with second-degree murder. It has now emerged that Clay and Sheila Fletcher, aged 65 and 64 respectively, were churchgoing "pillars of the community" as described by their neighbors, some of whom didn't even know they had a daughter.
The grand jury selected in Clinton, Louisiana indicted the couple over the murder of their own daughter and they face life sentences if convicted. Lacey's emaciated body was found on January 3 in a horrific scene. She was partially naked and sitting upright while partly submerged in a hole in a couch, drenched in urine, feces, maggots, and insect bites at her parents' otherwise neat family home in Slaughter.
East Feliciana Parish Coroner Dr Ewell Bickham III said the victim had been stuck on the couch for at least 12 years. Her feet were crossed underneath her and her long-suffering body had worn through the upholstery and cushion. The 36-year-old reportedly also had fecal matter shoved on her face, chest, and abdomen. Her hair was matted and filled with maggots and she weighed less than 100lbs, Bickham III said.
BREAKING: East Feliciana Grand Jury returns indictment of 2nd Degree Murder, in case against Sheila and Clay Fletcher for the death of their daughter Lacey Fletcher @WAFB https://t.co/WkWcjp1ezW pic.twitter.com/G00EcWtEpH— Lester Duhé (@LesterDuhe) May 2, 2022
Speaking to the Daily Mail, East Feliciana Sheriff Jeffery Travis said an "intervention should have happened a long time before this tragedy." He continued outside the courthouse, "You can’t just let someone rot away. It is difficult to imagine how someone could get into that condition without family or friends stepping in. Believe me, there would have been help available." Disturbing images displayed to the jury in court showed the victim with bedsores down to the bone. Medics were on hand in the courtroom on Monday due to the graphic imagery and distressing nature of the details surrounding Lacey's death.
Considering the horrifying neglect of their child, some neighbors said they weren't aware the Fletchers even had a daughter. Clay and Sheila were described as well-respected pillars of the Slaughter community. In fact, they weren't initially arrested as they weren't considered at risk of flight. Clay resigned from the Baton Rouge Civil War Roundtable after news of his daughter's death while former town alderman Sheila was reportedly on leave from a job as an assistant to the Zachary city prosecutor.
PARENTS BOOKED FOR MURDER— Lester Duhé (@LesterDuhe) May 2, 2022
Sheila and Clay Fletcher indicted for second degree murder, in case of woman’s body found on couch with feces around it @WAFBhttps://t.co/GUOurfcSmm pic.twitter.com/41JjeKvAjI
“Shocked, because it doesn’t match any of my experience of him,” roundtable member John Potts told BRPROUD of Clay, adding, “He’s completely different than what you would expect someone like that to be.” Potts said Clay only mentioned Lacey following her death. "The details are horrific, there is no doubt about that, and I can’t conceive of how something like that can even happen,” he noted. Neighbors told WBRZ they would routinely see her and Clay coming and going from the house. "They go to church every weekend and do anything for anybody," neighbor Robert Blades said.
The parents, however, did not appear in court on Monday and haven't been seen since the news of their daughter's alarming death emerged last week. Their attorney Steven Moore released a statement on Wednesday. "They don't want to relive the pain of losing a child through the media," it read. "They have been through a lot of heartaches over the years. Anyone who had lost a child knows what it's like" Moore added.