Trial date set for Natchitoches woman accused in baby’s burning death

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Felicia Smith, 27, is charged with first-degree murder in the burning death of 6-month-old Levi Cole Ellerbe of Natchitoches. (Source: Natchitoches Police Department)

NATCHITOCHES, La. (AP) — A trial date has been set for a Natchitoches woman accused in the burning death of a 6-month-old boy.

According to the 10th Judicial District Court Judge Desiree Duhon Dyess, Felicia Marie-Nicole Smith will go on trial Jan. 19, 2021.

Smith is charged with first-degree murder in the July 2018 death of Levi Cole Ellerbe.

The boy’s mother, Hanna Nicole Barker, faces the death penalty on the same charge.

Hanna Nicole Barker, 25, is charged with first-degree murder in the burning death of her infant son in July 2018. (Photo: Natchitoches Police Department)

It’s unclear whether Smith will face the death penalty. The two women are being tried separately.

Prosecutors say Barker asked Smith to kill Levi and then waited a few hours before calling 911 to report that her son had been kidnapped.

Smith is accused of dumping Levi in a ditch, coating him in gasoline and setting him ablaze.

Levi was found with severe burns covering 90 percent of his body and later died.

During a hearing Tuesday, the defense worked to obtain DNA data from the state crime lab, the Alexandria Town Talk reported. Dyess had signed a subpoena for the evidence, but it hasn’t been turned over.

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