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HOUMA A grand jury has indicted four suspects on first-degree murder charges, including a Chauvin man accused of beating and smothering his girlfriend's 10-month-old baby.

William Henderson, 23, 5115 Trisha St., was arrested Oct. 20. Authorities said he broke both of Kaleb Nelton's arms and then killed the baby when he refused to stop crying.

Terrebonne Parish First Assistant District Attorney Carlos Lazarus said he is still considering seeking the death penalty against Henderson but is still reviewing evidence in the case.

Grand jurors heard evidence in the case in closed-door sessions this week. The indictment was released Friday by the Terrebonne Parish Clerk of Court. The decisions mean the grand jury found there was enough evidence to allow attorneys to proceed with prosecution.

The night before the baby's death, his mother, Kimberly Nelton, 22, went to a party with Henderson, her boyfriend, authorities said.

They allegedly left the infant and his 2-year-old brother, Kaden Hardwick, unattended at their home.

The couple left the party separately after a 3 a.m. fight, friends and neighbors said. Henderson returned home about half an hour before Nelton.

After she arrived, Nelton thought her baby was asleep, relatives said. She discovered her child was dead about 10 a.m. and called police, authorities said.

Lazarus is awaiting an autopsy report for Kaleb, which may reveal the extent of force and injuries allegedly caused by Henderson in the homicide, he said. The more extreme either are could factor into his decision.
The input of the victim's family members also will be a factor, he said.

'They may not want the death penalty,' he said.

The boy's father, Derrick Hardwick, has said he considers death appropriate. The older child is in his care.

At minimum, Henderson could face life in prison if convicted. He remained in the Terrebonne Parish jail Friday in lieu of a $2 million bond. He also faces a cruelty charge for allegedly beating Kaden.

Nelton also remained jailed in lieu of a $200,000 bond for two counts of cruelty to a juvenile.

The grand jury also issued decisions in the following cases:

- Chris Anthony Frank, 28, his cousin, John Calvin Frank, 29, and Keidrike Ayo, 21, all of Houma, were each indicted on a first-degree murder charge.

They are accused of gunning down Steven Sneeze, 22, in a yard in the 800-block of Canal Street July 19. Based on casings found at the scene, rounds from a .45-caliber pistol struck Sneeze in the head, leg and hip.

The shooting stems from a feud between two local families, police said. Members of one family believe their relative was arrested on a drug possession charge based on a tip provided by a member of the other family.

Lazarus said he is not seeking the death penalty against the men because he believes jurors would not impose it based on the case's facts. He refused to discuss the facts because he said it would reveal evidence presented to the grand jury, which he is legally barred from doing.

- Jurors amended an aggravated rape indictment issue on Cyrus Antoine Dean Sr., 63, of Dulac, in October to indecent behavior with a juvenile.

He was arrested in September and accused of raping a girl younger than 13.

Lazarus cited a change in the 'character of the evidence' that no longer supported the aggravated rape charge, the state's most-severe sex crime. If convicted for indecent behavior, he could be sentenced between two and 25 years in prison.

- Dennis Simoneaux, 39, 507 Highland Drive, Houma, and his wife, Jackie, 37, were each indicted on one count of aggravated incest.

Authorities began investigating the couple when Dennis Simoneaux accused his wife of having sex with a teenage relative. Jackie Simoneaux admitted to the abuse but also implicated her husband, according to the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff's Office. He also allegedly admitted to the abuse.

- Randall Charles Smith, 54, was indicted on a charge of aggravated incest.

Smith is accused of watching porn and committing sex acts with teenage relatives. Authorties said he admitted to the abuse under questioning.

- Yancy Guidry, 48, was indicted on a sexual-battery charge. He is accused of sexually touching a young girl in 2004 or 2005, according to court documents.

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