Waskom woman gets 45 years in connection with boy’s beating death

Danielle Faulkner (Source: Harrison County Jail)
Danielle Faulkner (Source: Harrison County Jail)(Harrison County Jail)
Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 1:39 PM CDT
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HARRISON COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - A Harrison County jury sentenced a 22-year-old Waskom woman to 45 years in prison in connection with the 2019 death of her 5-year-old son.

According to a press release issued on Friday, the jury convicted Danielle Faulkner, of Waskom, on an injury to a child by omission causing serious bodily injury charge

“This sentence was the result of diligent work between the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office and the Harrison County District Attorney’s Office,” said Harrison County District Attorney Reid McCain. “Investigators with the sheriff’s office worked with the district attorney’s office from the very beginning.”

The jury trial and conviction stemmed from an incident that occurred on or about Sept. 18, 2019, on American Plant Road in Waskom. Harrison County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a call about suspected child abuse.

“Earlier in the evening, the Waskom Fire Department responded to an emergency call regarding a child having seizures,” the press release stated. “When Waskom EMS arrived, they immediately recognized that the child, who was 5 years of age, was actually experiencing a condition known as posturing, which can be exhibited when a person has suffered a traumatic brain injury.”

EMS personnel immediately notified law enforcement.

The boy later died of his injuries at LSU Medical Center in Shreveport, the press release stated.

In the following days and weeks, HCSO investigators learned that the injuries to the child were caused by Larry Prudhomme, Faulkner’s boyfriend, the press release stated. Prudhomme had been caring for Faulkner’s son and his younger brother while Faulkner worked.

During the trial, the jury heard from an LSU Medical Center doctor who said Faulkner’s son suffered a “significant” brain injury, the press release stated. He also had bruises all over his body.

Dr. Jessica Dwyer with the Southwest Institute of Forensic Science in Dallas told the jury that the boy had a healing brain injury in addition to a new brain injury, the press release stated. The boy also had a healing broken rib.

Sheriff’s office investigators told the jury that several months before the child’s death, Faulkner had taken her children to her mother’s home in Houston to escape her boyfriend’s abuse, but she brought them back about a month later, the press release stated.

“Jurors also learned that Faulkner had not enrolled the child in school even though the school year had been underway for about a month,” the press release stated.

The jurors also learned that two weeks before the incident, Faulkner had been treating her son for nausea, headaches, and sensitivity to light and that she had even searched for symptoms of brain injury on her phone, the press release stated.

During multiple interviewers with investigators, Faulkner denied that she ever saw significant injuries to her son even though she said during one interview that she thought her boyfriend disciplined her child too hard and that he was capable of causing serious bodily injury.

According to the press release, jurors were told they could also consider an endangering a child charge, which is a state jail felony. After deliberating 15 minutes, they convicted Faulkner of injury to a child by omission, which is a first-degree felony.

During the punishment phase of the trial, Faulkner took the stand and testified on her behalf,” the press release stated. Under cross-examination, Faulkner denied noticing any injuries to her son, despite being shown photos that showed bruising all over his body, an eye that was swollen shut, and an ear that was swollen and bruised.

When Faulkner was asked why she didn’t take her son to a doctor, she said she couldn’t get a ride, the press release stated.

“Injury to a child by omission causing serious bodily injury in Texas can be charged when a person who has a duty to act, fails to act and the resulting injury is one involving serious bodily injury,” the press release stated.

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+ Harrison County couple arrested after 5-year-old boy found with bruises all over body

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