La. couple allegedly shot teen, lit her on fire, sexually abused her, and refused to get medical help

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun16,2024

THIBODAUX, La. (TCD) — A 40-year-old woman and her 41-year-old partner were arrested on a slew of charges after a car accident led investigators to discover a teen girl had been shot, burned, sexually assaulted, and left without medical care.

According to the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office, on April 20 at around 11 p.m., Bayton Police Department officers in Texas responded to a car crash on a service road off the eastbound I-10 and made contact with the driver, Terrence Washington. Washington was reportedly holding a firearm, which he surrendered to police before being taken into custody. Officers found the 15-year-old in the car and transported her to a hospital due to the “severity of the victim’s injuries.”

The girl’s mom, Latonya Harris, was also taken to the hospital.

The sheriff’s office said doctors at the hospital “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.”

A Bayton Police detective reportedly called the girl’s injuries “the worst she has seen in her entire career.”

The Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office got involved in the investigation the following day when officials from the Department of Child and Family Services reached out, and they started working with Baytown Police.

Baytown Police Department detectives spoke with Washington, who allegedly admitted to shooting the 15-year-old victim twice — once in the head and once in the chest — over the span of two days. Additionally, Washington reportedly said he had been sexually abusing the teen for several months.

A minor who was in the car with the victim, Harris, and Washington at the time of crash reportedly told police she woke up one night around Mardi Gras “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.”

The victim reportedly never received medical care.

Terrebonne Parish Special Victims Unit detectives obtained a warrant to search Harris and Washington’s house and found evidence that a gun had been fired in the house, as well as blood and the “strong odor of infection and decomposing flesh.”

Washington reportedly told detectives during a later interview that he knew Harris burned the girl because she found out about the sexual abuse, “who she blamed for the encounters.”

Harris was released from the hospital on May 9 and arrested on charges of attempted first-degree murder, second-degree cruelty to a juvenile, and domestic abuse battery. Her bond was set at $1 million.

Washington remains in custody in Texas, but there is a warrant for his arrest for two counts of attempted first-degree murder, second-degree cruelty to a child, obstruction of justice, molestation of a juvenile, three counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile, and five counts of second-degree rape.

Sheriff Tim Soignet said in a press conference Friday, “It’s a conscience shocker, especially when it’s a family member, a mother. I served 22 years in the Marine Corps and have seen a lot of things. And this has shocked me more than most of the things I’ve dealt with in my 22 years in the Marine Corps.”

He added, “She’s an incredible young lady to be able to encounter what she went through and to tell our detectives.”

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Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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One thought on “La. couple allegedly shot teen, lit her on fire, sexually abused her, and refused to get medical help”
  1. I am utterly horrified by the heinous acts committed against this poor girl. It’s devastating to think that someone could be capable of such cruelty. My heart goes out to the victim and her family during this unimaginably difficult time.

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