A grand jury in Louisiana has indicted a woman who allegedly threw her two young children into a lake, killing one of them and severely injuring the other.
Prosecutors in the Caddo Parish District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday that 33-year-old Ureka Rochelle Black has been charged with second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder, KSLA-TV reports.
The grand jury returned the indictment on Tuesday in connection to a September 24, 2021, incident in which Black allegedly tossed the boys off the Interstate 220 bridge into Cross Lake near Shreveport.
Police responded to the lake shortly after 11 a.m. for a report of a child floating in the water. Officers located Black’s 10-month-old son, Joshua Calif Black, and pulled him from the lake. Medics attempted to revive him but without success.
Meanwhile, Black’s 5-year-old brother was discovered floating on his back and was also pulled from the lake. He survived but sustained severe injuries. Authorities have not released his name.
The 5-year-old boy reportedly provided key evidence to investigators leading them to believe that the mother threw the children off the bridge.
Conviction on the murder charge could bring an automatic life sentence, while conviction on the attempted murder charge would be punishable by 10 to 50 years in prison without the chance for parole or probation, according to the Associated Press.
Black has pleaded not guilty.
The case has been on hold because of concerns about Black’s mental health. In December, a judge ordered that Black be evaluated by a psychologist and psychiatrist who can assess whether she is competent to stand trial, KTBS-TV reports.
Family members of Black told KSLA-TV that they had been concerned about the woman’s mental health prior to the incident but that she refused to accept treatment.
Black is scheduled to return to court March 3.
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[Feature Photo: Police Handout]