A jury found a Louisiana father guilty of beating his 14-year-old son to death in an attack prosecutors said stemmed from an argument over the teen’s poor grades.
According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, 45-year-old Furnell Daniel Sr. of Waggaman was convicted Saturday on a manslaughter charge connected to the February 2016 beating that killed Jalen Daniel.
The attack left the victim covered in bruises with a fractured skull, kneecap and wrist, reports indicate.
In an emotional appearance on the witness stand Friday, Daniel admitted to beating his son with a wooden board from a crib.
He went on to acknowledge he should have gotten medical treatment for his son’s multiple injuries immediately instead of waiting nearly a full day to call paramedics. Jalen Daniel died after spending two days in the hospital.
During the four-day trial, authorities testified that the victim needed assistance into the bathtub and bed on the night of the beating and woke up the following morning soaked in vomit and urine. It was then that his father sought medical care for him, the Times-Picayune previously reported.
“It’s my fault,” Daniel concluded in his testimony. He was the only witness called by the defense.
Two of the victim’s sisters testified that the beating was not the first form of severe corporal punishment Daniel had inflicted on his son.
“My father had his foot in his back and started whipping him,” Juresia Daniel said of a particularly harsh beating when her brother was 7. “He cried and screamed.”
After about six hours of deliberation, the jury returned its verdict.
The manslaughter conviction carries a prison sentence up to 40 years, though Daniel faced a potential life sentence with second-degree murder included as an option for the jury.
[Featured image: Jalen Davis, Furnell Davis/GoFundMe, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office]