Father held on $75,000 bond for death of infant daughter - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Father held on $75,000 bond for death of infant daughter

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Franklin Finney (Source: Walker Police Department) Franklin Finney (Source: Walker Police Department)
WALKER, LA (WAFB) -

A 23-year-old man was arrested after he confessed to accidentally smothering his infant daughter.

"He initially denied any wrongdoing, but after about an hour, he admitted that he put his hand over the baby's mouth to try and keep her quiet," Capt. John Sharp, Walker Police Department, said. "It's a really sad situation. Everybody is deeply upset by this. At the end of the day, this is a child's life and we can't place a value on that."

It all started when the Walker Police Department was called out on April 19, 2014.

"Any time you have a call where a child is unresponsive, we [the police] are going to respond, too," Capt. Sharp noted. "At first, there were no indications of a crime scene. All we had were some very upset parents." 

The child was transported to a hospital in Baton Rouge where she remained until Tuesday, May 13. The family made the painful decision to remove the child from life support. Just days before, however, investigators learned that this case was more complicated than they first believed.

"We were contacted by the hospital and the Office of Children and Family Services on Saturday," Capt. Sharp said. "They indicated to us that the child's mother, Kayla Depoy, and another family member, commented to some of the medical staff that they were concerned that the child's father, Franklin Finney, might have played some part in the child's respiratory failure."

Finney was questioned on Wednesday and eventually told investigators that his daughter was crying and he was frustrated that he could not console her. He then admitted to placing his hand over her mouth in an attempt to stop her from crying.

"Mr. Finney stated that he did not realize the child was no longer breathing until Ms. Depoy entered the room and saw the baby was unresponsive," Capt. Sharp added.

After obtaining the confession, investigators consulted with the Livingston Parish District Attorney's Office concerning possible charges.

"Contrary to popular belief, we don't get to decide what people are prosecuted for," Capt. Sharp noted. "The DA indicated that manslaughter was the appropriate charge."

Finney was booked into the Livingston Parish Detention Center. He is being held in lieu of a $75,000 bond. 

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