Parents face murder charges in baby's malnutrition death

Jason Lutz and Ashley Cogar (Source: Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff's Office)
Jason Lutz and Ashley Cogar (Source: Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff's Office)

VENTRESS, LA (WAFB) - Authorities have arrested the parents of a 3-month-old boy after an autopsy confirmed the infant died of malnutrition.

Jason Lutz and Ashley Cogar are both charged with second-degree murder in the death of Joseph Lutz. They are from Ventress in Pointe Coupee Parish. Bond has been set at $500,000 each.

"That baby died at the hands of his parents," said Assistant District Attorney Tony Clayton. 

The Pointe Coupee Sheriff's Office took the pair into custody around 9:30 a.m. Monday.  Officials said the child weighed about 7 lbs. when he was born in Oct. 2013, but weighed 6 lbs. when he died.  The autopsy revealed the baby died from malnutrition and starved to death.

"I don't know how to explain it other than that baby was in a horrible condition.  His three months must have been hell on earth," said Clayton.

Clayton will take case to the Grand Jury in the 18th Judicial District Court on Friday at 9 a.m.

The baby was found dead at a home on Patin Dyke Road in Pointe Coupee Parish on Jan. 28,  2014.

The Department of Child & Family Services did take three other children who were at the home when the baby died.  They range in age from 2-5.  DCFS has since placed them into the custody of their grandmother. 

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