Disclaimer: All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
WEST MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) — On November 9, 2022, deputies of the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office were called to an elementary school in West Monroe, La. due to an abuse report. According to deputies, they were advised by the school’s nurse that a 5-year-old kindergarten student came into their office complaining about neck and leg pain.
The student informed the nurse that they were punished by their stepmother, 32-year-old Kelli Joanna Baker, the night before for not eating their dinner. According to the nurse, the victim advised the nurse that they did not finish their within 40 minutes, which led to Baker disciplining the victim with a belt.
The nurse went on to contact Baker who mentioned that she was not aware of the bruises on the victim’s legs and that the victim possibly received the bruises by sliding down the stairs in their home. Baker allegedly admitted to spanking the victim and that she gives the victim a time limit to eat his food by setting a timer on a stopwatch.
On Nov.15, the victim was interviewed at the Children’s Advocacy Center where officials discovered that the victim is timed with a “doggie timer.” The victim is allegedly given approximately 40 to 45 minutes to eat their food.
If the victim does not finish their food in time, the victim is allegedly spanked by Baker. According to officials, the victim mentioned another instance where Baker disciplined them for not eating their food in time. During the interview, authorities noticed bruises on the victim.
On Dec. 2, Baker was placed under arrest and charged with Cruelty to Juveniles/Aggravated Assault.