A 14-year-old Louisiana girl has died from injuries sustained in a hammer attack that also took the lives of her mother, brother, and cousin, the New Orleans Times-Picayune is reporting.
Nashawna Riley had been declared brain dead and never regained consciousness after the attack, the news organization reported. The family made the decision to pull the teen off of life support, her grandfather, Emmett Rhodes, told the news organization.
The boyfriend of Nashawna’s mother, Kristina Riley, 32, who died in the attack, was jailed on charges of first-degree murder and obstruction of justice. Terrance Leonard, 33, is charged with trying to bludgeon Kristina Riley, her three children, and niece while they were asleep in bed, according to the Times-Picayune.
Along with Nashawna and her mother, Nashawna’s brother, Ayden Riley, 10, and her cousin, De’ryona Riley, 9, also died at the family’s apartment in Terrytown, outside of New Orleans.
Nashawna’s sister, Adrianna Riley, survived the attack and was hospitalized in critical condition.
Investigators said that after Leonard attacked the children, he waited for Kristina Riley, who’d been out with her mother. When Kristina Riley arrived home at around 2 a.m., he attacked her too, authorities said.
Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph Lopinto told the news organization that Leonard told authorities that he was high on crack and that was why he carried out the attacks, but Riley’s family said that he was angry that Riley was trying to end their relationship.
There was no evidence that the children ever woke up during the attacks, authorities said.
“This is the most horrific thing I’ve ever seen,” Deputy Jefferson Parish Coroner Granville Morse told the Times-Picayune.
“It was a complete ambush on the kids,” he said.
Authorities believe Leonard planned to pretend to discover the bodies along with his mother as a way to formulate an alibi, the news organization reported.