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Nevaeh Allen case: Bond changes for mother, step-father

Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 10:03 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 1, 2021 at 3:07 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Both suspects in the death of Nevaeh Allen will remain in jail for now, after a judge Friday afternoon ordered both must stay locked up until new bond hearings can be held on Monday, Oct. 4.

During Monday’s hearing, the same judge, Christopher Dassau, will rule on whether both suspects should be held without bond pending further court action.

RELATED: 3 children allegedly killed by their parents in separate incidents across La.

Both are charged with second-degree murder.

The girl’s mother, Lanaya Cardwell, initially had a bond set at $300,000. A hold has now been placed on that bond.

Lanaya Cardwell
Lanaya Cardwell(East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office)

Cardwell’s live-in boyfriend, Phillip Gardner, is the other person charged in the case.

Philip Gardner
Philip Gardner(East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office)

In a separate hearing Friday afternoon, Judge Dassau ordered Gardner must be held in jail until a bond hearing to be held Monday, Oct. 4.

Gardner is accused of putting two-year-old Neveah Allen inside a suitcase before dumping her body in Mississippi.

Her body was found on Sept. 26 in Hancock County, Mississippi.

Police allege her mother hit the little girl inside their Baton Rouge apartment, causing her to fall into a piece of furniture after discovering her playing with a pair of the mother’s contact lenses.

Police say they do not know if the girl died from those injuries, or from being placed into the suitcase and taken across state lines.

Cardwell is currently pregnant with another child and says Gardner is the father.

Gardner is being represented by the Public Defender’s Office. That same office cannot represent the mother, because of the potential conflict of interest of representing two people in the same case. Because of that, a private attorney will likely be appointed to represent the mother, prosecutors said Friday.

Gardner appeared before the judge via computer for Friday’s hearing, from a room inside the East Baton Rouge Parish Jail. Gardner is being held in isolation away from other inmates because of the nature of the charges against him.

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