Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Dad, step arrested in beating death of 14-year-old son;why did this violent father have any custodial rights? (Jefferson Parish, Louisiana)

Not one word here on why violent father FURNELL DANIELS had child custody rights, or what those rights were. Did he have primary physical custody? Joint custody? Sole custody? Who gave him his custodial rights? Was their prior evidence of child abuse and/or domestic violence--but Dad got his "rights" anyway?

See the Killer Dads and Custody list for Louisiana.


Waggaman boy beaten by father has died, authorities say

Jalen Daniel, 14, was pronounced brain dead on Monday (Feb. 8) two days after he was hospitalized with grave injuries authorities said he received at the hands of his father, Furnell Daniels, 43.

By Michelle Hunter, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
on February 11, 2016 at 11:57 AM, updated February 11, 2016 at 4:02 PM

Jalen Daniel, the Waggaman boy hospitalized Saturday after authorities say he was beaten by his father with a piece of wood, has died, according to the Jefferson Parish coroner's office.

An autopsy performed Thursday morning (Feb, 11) determined Jalen, 14, died of an epidural hemorrhage (bleeding between his brain and skull) due to a skull fracture from blunt force trauma, said Mark Bone, chief death investigator for the coroner's office.

Medical officials pronounced Jalen brain dead on Monday but he remained in the hospital after his relatives made the decision to donate his organs and help others.

"He had the biggest heart and (was) one of the sweetest kids that you wanted to meet," Jalen's mother, LaTonya Kelly said. "He is loved and will be missed by everyone that knew him."

Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office detectives arrested Jalen's father, Furnell Daniel, 43, and his stepmother, Terri Daniel, 30, Saturday and booked them with second-degree cruelty to a juvenile.

Investigators upgraded the charges Thursday to second-degree murder, said Col. John Fortunato, spokesman for the department.

Detectives took the couple into custody after Furnell Daniel contacted 911 seeking medical attention for his son. He told deputies Jalen injured himself in a fall in the bathtub.

But investigators and physicians determined the boy's severe injuries -- including swollen bruises, cuts and scrapes -- didn't fit that story. Jalen's brother told investigators the boy was injured Friday night when their father hit him several times with a piece of wood because of low grades, authorities said.

Furnell Daniel is accused of chasing his son through their Waggaman home, striking the boy. Emergency responders reported finding a splinter of wood in a wound above Jalen's eye, the Sheriff's Office said.

Jalen was lethargic for most of Friday night and needed help getting out of a bathtub. Despite speaking incoherently, collapsing and making gurgling sounds, authorities say Furnell and Terri Daniel didn't immediately call anyone to get Jalen medical attention. They finally called 911 around 12:22 p.m. Saturday.

Jalen's loss has been devastating for relatives who've posted photos and memories, including pictures of his infectious smile.

"Anyone that knew him saw that smile everyday," Kelly said.

In addition to pictures, relatives have also posted blue ribbons symbolizing the fight against child abuse.

Furnell and Terri Daniel were being held without bond Thursday at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center in Gretna.

Stay with NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune for more on this story.

*An earlier version of this story in correctly spelled the name of the suspect as Furnell Daniels based on public records. The correct spelling is Furnell Daniel.