published Thursday, June 18th, 2009

Chattanooga: Mother testifies in child rape, murder case

by Monica Mercer

The mother of a teen-age boy charged with the rape and murder of a 3-year-old girl testified this morning in Hamilton County Juvenile Court about the days leading up to the death.

Constance Lavoie, of Georgetown, Tenn., testified about the two days before the child’s death on April 21.

Prosecutors claim the 14-year-old raped the girl after Ms. Lavoie left her home on April 20 to retrieve family photos. Ms. Lavoie had legal custody of the girl but was not her biological mother.

The hearing is being held to determine whether the teen will be transferred to Criminal Court and face charges as an adult. He is charged with aggravated rape of a child and first-degree murder by aggravated rape of a child.

If the boy is transferred and convicted, he could face up to life in prison. He is not identified in this story because of his status as a juvenile.

Hamilton County medical examiner Dr. John Metcalfe testified the girl died from a tear in her rectum that allowed fecal matter to leak into her body and cause fatal sepsis.

For complete details, see tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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