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Jul 1, 2014 4:06 PM by Dave Fields

Police: "Intoxicated" couple "surprised" infant left in hot vehicle for an hour

Walker Police apprehended a Denham Springs man and a St. Amant woman allegedly intoxicated and "surprised" when police confronted the pair about leaving an infant in a locked vehicle for more than an hour.

According to Walker Police Department release on its Facebook page, Billy Arthur Henry, Jr., 35, and Lana Wallace Henry, 32, "admitted to being the vehicle owners and the parents of the baby." Police said that the Henrys were arrested Friday night by Walker Police on charges of child cruelty, possession of controlled dangerous substances and related offenses.

"At approximately 7:15 pm Friday evening, our officers responded to a report of an infant child locked in a car in the parking lot of the Walker Walmart. When our officers arrived, they observed a very young infant in a car seat in the rear passenger compartment of the vehicle, crying hysterically. With outside temperatures in the mid to upper 80's, and with the knowledge that the temperature inside the vehicle was potentially much higher, the decision was made to force entry into the vehicle in order to retrieve the child. After checking the baby, a six month old girl, to make sure she was uninjured, the Office of Child Services was contacted," Capt. John Sharp said.

Police said that, while OCS was on its way to the scene and police were checking the vehicle for clues of ownership, the Henrys were observed returning to the vehicle .

"They (the Henrys) admitted to being the vehicle owners and the parents of the baby. During questioning Corporal (Mitchell) Fouse was able to determine that the infant had been locked in the vehicle for nearly an hour. Both subjects were then mirandized and placed under arrest for child cruelty," Sharp added.

Officers explained that they were able to ascertain from the subjects' behavior, condition and statements to police, that the couple were "impaired." Sharp said officers observed "that both subjects were under the influence of intoxicants" and that "both Mr. and Mrs. Henry were unsteady on their feet and had slurred speech."

Police said that neither subject produced identification and that each subject was interviewed separately. During the questioning, both subjects admitted to using Oxycodone.Police then searched the vehicle and discovered synthetic marijuana in the vehicle as well as Adderall, crushed oxymorphone (Opana), and a syringe in Lana Henry's handbag.

"Both subjects expressed surprise when asked about the baby and neither remembered bringing the infant with them to Walmart," reads the police department's Facebook post.

OCS took the baby into protective custody and the couple admitted during questioning that they had other children who were staying with a family member. Police said the Henrys, however, initially would not provide the name of the family member watching these other children.

"Ultimately, Mr. Henry told Corporal Fouse that the children were at a home on Florida Boulevard with a blue door near an tire store. With that information, Officers drove up and down Florida Boulevard and finally located a residence with a blue door. Inside, Officers found the other three children with a member of the Henry family. One of the children was a twin of the baby found in the Henry vehicle. The other two children, both girls, were 10 and 11 years old respectively," Sharp said.

The Henry's other children then were taken into protective custody of OCS.

Officers also reported that when the couple were transported to the Walker Police Department for booking, police made a discovery on the floor of the vehicle of Xanax, which Lana Henry admitted to dropping.

Billy Arthur Henry, Jr., was booked with Cruelty to Juveniles; Possession of Schedule I CDS (Synthetic Marijuana); and Disturbing the Peace. He is currently being held in the Livingston Parish Detention Center with bail set at $26,000.00. Lana Wallace Henry was booked on charges of Cruelty to Juveniles; Possession of Drug Paraphernalia; Possession of Schedule I CDS (Synthetic Marijuana); Two Counts of Possession of Schedule II CDS (Oxymorphone & Adderall); Possession of Schedule IV CDS (Xanax); Possession of a Legend Drug without a Prescription; and Disturbing the Peace. Lana Henry's bail was set at $56,500.

At this point, an additional drug discovery was made.

Following the booking process, officers indicated an additional "quantity of Schedule II CDS (Adderall) was found hidden on Lana Henry's person." Lana Henry was then charged with Possession of Schedule II CDS (Adderall) and Introduction of Contraband into a Penal Institution. Bail on those charges has been set at $45,000.00. She remains in the Livingston Parish Detention Center in lieu of bail.

Sharp commended the efforts of the responding officer at the scene.

"After getting the baby out of the locked car, and seeing that the child was hungry and needed to be changed, Corporal Fouse purchased diapers, formula and a clean outfit for the child, using his own funds. He then gave the baby a bottle and calmed the child while waiting for OCS representatives to arrive. We are proud of his efforts and those of our other Officers who were involved in this incident," Sharp said.

WPD said that additional charges are possible as the case continues to be investigated.



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