Thibodaux couple arrested by TPSO for the Attempted Murder of a 15-year-old

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Terrebonne Parish Sheriff Tim Soignet has confirmed the arrest of a Thibodaux couple in connection with an Attempted Murder investigation, which was discovered during a traffic related investigation by the Baytown Police Department, in Texas.  Latonya Ann Harris, 40, and Terrence Washington, 41, have been arrested for a series of violent charges in connection with the investigation.   

 

On April 21st, the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office first learned of a 15-year-old victim who was found badly burned, shot multiple times, but still clinging to life, during a traffic crash that occurred in Baytown, Tx, on April 20th around 11:00pm.  The initial information was reported to our agency by the local Department of Child Family Services, which quickly linked SVU Detectives to Investigators with the Baytown Police Department.   Our Detectives began to receive information from Authorities with the Baytown Police Department, which indicated that the victim suffered severe injuries at the hands of her mother and mother’s boyfriend.  The Baytown Police Department confirmed that Latonya Harris, 40, of Thibodaux, and Terrence Washington, 41, of Thibodaux, and a minor child were taken into custody in connection with the traffic incident, and discovery of the victim.

 

 

 

TPSO Detectives learned from Investigators with Baytown that complaints were received in their jurisdiction in regard to a vehicle driving recklessly on I-10 East, which ultimately crashed on a service road.  When Officers responded to the scene, they found the vehicle to be occupied, and encountered the male driver, later identified as Terrence Washington, to be holding a firearm.  Washington relinquished the weapon and was taken into custody, which led to the discovery of the victim, and additional occupants.  Due to the obvious severity of the victim’s injuries, she was transported to a nearby hospital for medical treatment, in addition to Latonya Harris being hospitalized for injuries sustained during the crash.  It was at that time, medical staff discovered the gruesome extent of burns to the upper body of the victim, along with the discovery of gunshot wounds to the victim’s chest and face.  An Investigator with the Baytown Police Department described the injuries to the victim as the worst she has seen in her entire career.


 

Investigators with the Baytown Police Department provided SVU Detectives with information they obtained during an interview with Washington, who admitted to being responsible for shooting the victim, which took place during a disturbance with his girlfriend, Latonya Harris, at their residence in Thibodaux.  Washington also admitted to being responsible for sexual abuse of the victim, which lasted numerous months prior to the victim’s injuries.  Washington also admitted to knowledge of the victim being burned, which he stated occurred in February of 2024, which was being treated in home by Harris.  Washington explained that after the victim was shot, the family left for Texas.

 

As the investigation continued, SVU Detectives learned that the minor child found within the vehicle was being transported back to Louisiana by a family member.  SVU Detectives contacted the minor child and completed an interview with her.  The interview revealed details confirming that during the Mardi Gras season, the child was awakened to the sight of the victim’s body on fire, as Latonya Harris stood over her bed with a bottle of rubbing alcohol and a lighter.  SVU Detectives also listened to gruesome details of the victim being shot on two separate days within the home, which went untreated as the family travelled to Texas.

 

With the information developed, SVU Detectives completed a search warrant for the family residence located in the 400 block of West Park Ave.  During the search, Detectives discovered evidence to confirm that a weapon was shot inside the home, and in addition to blood evidence, the strong odor of infection and decomposing flesh could be smelled.  Crime Scene Detectives completed the search of the home and documented evidence in connection with the investigation.


 

Detectives of the TPSO traveled to Baytown, Tx, to further the investigation, and completed an additional interview with Terrence Washington.  During the interview, Washington again admitted that during a disturbance at the home on Friday, April 19th, he was holding the weapon in his hand when the weapon went off, and shot the victim in the face.  Washington also revealed to Detectives that he learned the victim was burned by Harris, sometime in February, when he returned home from work.  Washington stated that the victim was burned after Harris learned of the sexual abuse with the victim, who she blamed for the encounters.  Washington confirmed that the victim’s injuries were treated at home by Harris, who refused to obtain medical treatment for the victim.

 

As the investigation continued, TPSO Detectives learned that Latonya Harris was released from a Texas hospital on May 9th, and returned to Terrebonne Parish.  Harris was quickly apprehended and brought in for questioning, but refused to speak with Detectives.  Harris was arrested for charges of Attempted First Degree Murder, Second-Degree cruelty to a juvenile, and Domestic Abuse Battery Child Endangerment.  Harris was transported to the Terrebonne Parish Criminal Justice Complex where she remains jailed on a $1,000,000.00 bond by local judges.

 

Terrebonne Parish Detectives have also obtained arrest warrants for Terrence Washington for 2 counts of Attempted 1st Degree Murder, Second-Degree Cruelty to a juvenile, Obstruction of Justice, Molestation of a juvenile, 3 counts of Indecent Behavior with a juvenile, and 5 counts of 2nd Degree Rape .  Terrence Washington will later be remanded to the custody of the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office, but he currently remains jailed at the Harris County Detention Center on charges connected to crimes in Texas.


 

This remains an ongoing investigation, and additional arrests are not known at this time.  Additional information will be revealed as it becomes available.

 

Sheriff Tim Soignet would like to extend a special thank you to the Baytown Police Department who provided an enormous amount of assistance to get this investigation to the point where we are today.  Sheriff Soignet said, “This is the type of case that is not only difficult to deal with the circumstances, but hard to imagine the level of violence and evil that can occur at the hands of a human being.  I can’t begin to express how grateful I am to have these extremely violent offenders in custody, and off of our streets.  Our Detectives have worked tirelessly since learning of the incident, in hopes of protecting an innocent young lady from further torture and abuse.  Unfortunately, this investigation doesn’t stop with the arrest process.  Our Detectives will continue to investigate this very complex case, to ensure that these violators remain jailed for a very long time.  I would also like to recognize the tremendous amount of cooperation we received from the Terrebonne Parish District Attorney’s Office during the course of this investigation.  This is exactly the type of cooperation that will ensure these offenders are brought to justice, and for that, I am forever grateful.”