Posted: Aug 15, 2011 11:59 AM
Updated: Aug 15, 2011 12:11 PM
THIBODAUX, La. (AP) - A Louisiana man is accused of decapitating and dismembering his disabled 7-year-old son and leaving the boy's head near the street so the child's mother would see it - a killing that brought seasoned police officers to tears, authorities said Monday.
Jeremiah Lee Wright, 30, of Thibodaux has confessed to killing Jori Lirette, Police Chief Scott Silverii said. He said Wright was booked with first-degree murder and was held Monday in lieu of $5 million bond.
Silverii's spokesman, Detective Ricky Ross, said he does not believe Wright has an attorney.
Silverii said the motive was unclear, though Wright told police "that he'd gotten to the point where he was tired of taking care" of the boy, who had cerebral palsy and heart problems, needed a feeding tube and was in a wheelchair.
"He said when he put his head out by the side of the road it was so the mother would see it when she came by," Silverii said. He said Wright's only explanation for doing so was "just that he wanted her to feel stupid when she saw the head."
The police chief said Jori's feet and one hand also were cut off, recovered with the body in several white plastic garbage bags.
Police had been called to the house last month when the couple had an argument - possibly about money - though neither person brought charges, Ross said. The police chief said Wright had been arrested a few times previously, though he was never charged with violent crimes. Wright served 10 days for theft in 2005.
Silverii said friends had taken the child's mother, Jesslyn Lirette, 27, to try to fix her broken-down car on Sunday. Lirette - who lived with Wright but was not married to him - returned to a home blocked with police tape.
When she identified herself, Silverii had Ross, who had been her minister for 12 years and remains a lay pastor, and a captain tell her what had happened to her son, a second-grade student at South Thibodaux Elementary School.
"These are experienced men. They came out of there in tears. Just absolutely in tears," Silverii said.
Grief counselors from the Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office also spent time with her, he said.
The slaying was the first since 2008 in Thibodeaux, which is about a 60-mile drive west of New Orleans.
Silverii said the boy apparently was decapitated over the kitchen sink, which was sent to the Louisiana State Police crime lab along with a box of tools found nearby. An autopsy taking place Monday in Jefferson Parish would identify when the child died and what was used to decapitate and dismember the boy, Silverii said.