Two charged after 1-year-old dies of blunt force trauma, large burn

Published 7:11 am Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Two people have been arrested in the death of a 1-year-old girl who suffered blunt force injuries and a large burn last month, according to police.

The child’s mother, Christy Fontenot, 35, was booked into jail Monday on charges of cruelty to juveniles and failure to seek assistance, Baton Rouge police said. Jonathan Dunn, 34, was arrested March 28 and charged with first-degree murder and cruelty to a juvenile in the case.

Police were called to a Baton Rouge home the night of March 27, where officers found Ja’Leah Fontenot unresponsive with multiple bruises and a large burn on her leg, officials said. An arrest report obtained by The Advocate stated that detectives found the home in disrepair, without running water or electricity.

Ja’Leah was taken to a hospital where she was pronounced dead. An autopsy determined she died from multiple blunt force injuries, according to the East Baton Rouge Parish coroner.

Dunn told detectives that Christy Fontenot would frequently leave him to watch three of her young children, according to the police documents, which also alleged witnesses said they had seen the two abusing the child.

Officers did not give the relationship between Christy Fontenot and Dunn. It was unclear whether they had attorneys who could comment for them.