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

Franklin Finney (Source: Walker Police Department)
Franklin Finney (Source: Walker Police Department)

WALKER, LA (WAFB) - A 23-year-old manwas arrested after he confessed to accidentally smothering his infant daughter.

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

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

"Any time you have acall 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. Allwe had were some very upset parents."

The child wastransported to a hospital in Baton Rouge where she remained until Tuesday, May13. The family made the painful decision to remove the child from life support.Just days before, however, investigators learned that this case was morecomplicated than they first believed.

"We were contactedby 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 theywere concerned that the child's father, Franklin Finney, might have played somepart in the child's respiratory failure."

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

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

After obtaining theconfession, investigators consulted with the Livingston Parish DistrictAttorney's Office concerning possible charges.

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

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

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