HOUSTON (FOX 26) - An investigation is underway to figure out if more could have been done to protect the 4-year-old little girl who was killed, allegedly by her own mother.
Laquita Lewis made her first court appearance. The 34-year-old mother has undergone a mental evaluation. The results have not yet been released. In her initial court appearance, Lewis mostly held her head down while the judge informed Lewis she is charged with Capital Murder for allegedly stabbing her 4-year-old little girl to death on Father’s Day.
Lewis entered the courtroom with tears in her eyes. She was denied bond, but many are wondering why Lewis wasn’t denied regaining custody of her 4-year-old daughter last month.
"I’m of the opinion that the state, once we take a child into custody, we’re responsible and we should err on the side of the child,” explains State Representative Garnet Coleman.
Lewis lost custody of little Fredricka Allen and her three other children in November after the mother of four threatened to kill her 16-year-old son with a knife on Thanksgiving Day. Lewis’ ex-husband took custody of all four kids, even Fredricka who was not his biological child. But on May 4, 2017, CPS returned the 4-year-old to her mother. Then on Father’s Day, investigators say Lewis stabbed Fredricka to death and told the little girl’s father she was no longer alive and in Heaven.
”Someone who showed a tendency to actually be violent with others, that is something that should have been scrutinized to the utmost,” adds Rep. Coleman.
The Office of Child Safety is now investigating CPS to see how Fredricka ended up murdered a month after CPS sent the little girl back home with her mother. State Representative Coleman is a long time child advocate.
"I don’t want to put the blame on a CPS worker or anyone else, because there are some things in life that are just not predictable,” says Coleman.
Returning a child to a parent who previously lost custody is typically decided by the case worker. A CPS supervisor and a judge has to sign off on it. Coleman says instead of policing families after a tragedy, he would like to see more money put into offering better resources for families before something awful happens including services for the mentally ill and those addicted to drugs.
Lewis is expected back in court in August 2017.