The East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney’s Office will seek the death
penalty against a man accused in the 2006 asphyxiation death of his 2-year-old
daughter, a prosecutor told a judge Thursday.
Cedric and Shelna Matamoros were indicted on 1st-degree murder charges in May
and are being held without bond.
Prosecutor Steve Danielson said the District Attorney’s Office has not decided
whether to seek the death penalty against Shelna Matamoros in the death of her
stepdaughter, Malyasia Chante’ Matamoros.
Cedric Matamoros was not in state District Judge Chip Moore’s courtroom when
Danielson announced he would seek the death penalty against him.
“We are aware of the state’s notice of intent (to seek the death penalty) and
we will respond accordingly,’’ said Nelvil Hollingsworth, chief of the homicide
unit at the East Baton Rouge Parish Public Defenders Office.
So far, neither prosecutors nor defense attorneys have asked that the couple be
tried separately, Danielson said. Either side can make such a request.
District Attorney Hillar Moore III has alleged that Malyasia Matamoros was
“killed for money.’’ The toddler was covered by five insurance policies
totaling $185,000 at the time of her death, and Cedric and Shelna Matamoros
were the beneficiaries, he noted.
The child was pronounced dead Aug. 31, 2006. Two of the insurance policies
totaling $110,000 were set to lapse Sept. 1, 2006, Moore said.
Cedric Matamoros has claimed someone broke into their unit at the Brandywine
Condominiums on Darryl Drive the night of Aug. 30, 2006, when his daughter was
attacked in her bedroom. He said he fired a gun at the intruder.
Cedric Matamoros pleaded no contest in September 2010 to simple arson,
insurance fraud and workers’ compensation fraud and served time in prison.
Shelna Matamoros pleaded guilty in March 2010 to simple arson, insurance fraud
and other charges in the same string of arsons and frauds and also served time
(source: The Advocate)