HOUSTON – A mother accused of stabbing her 4-year-old daughter to death on Father’s Day appeared in court for the first time Tuesday.
Lewis appeared to be upset as the prosecutor laid out the capital murder case against her.
Harris County Sheriff’s Office District 5 deputies were called around 8:40 p.m. Sunday to the Timberwalk Apartments in the 5600 block of Timber Creek Place Drive in northwest Harris County for a welfare check. Investigators said the child's father and the child's aunt reported that 34-year-old Laquita Lewis might have hurt her daughter, Fredricka Allen.
According to prosecutors, Lewis called and told the child's father and aunt that Fredricka was no longer living and she was in heaven. When the father asked Lewis to clarify, prosecutors said she replied, '"I stabbed her in the chest.'"
Deputies found Fredricka's body inside the apartment on the master bedroom floor with several stab wounds to the chest, according to prosecutors. Investigators also found two knives in the room, prosecutors said.
Lewis was not in the apartment when the child was found, deputies said.
Investigators called it a "horrific scene."
Deputies said Lewis was taken to a hospital after she got into a traffic accident around 6 p.m. at I-10 and 610 north. While at the hospital, Lewis texted family members saying she’d hurt the little girl and she was sorry, investigators said.
According to prosecutors, Lewis admitted to investigators that she was the last one with her child and left her unsupervised.
Lewis was detained at the hospital.
It is unclear if she was trying to run.
Investigators said Lewis and the child's father got into an argument earlier in the day. It was not immediately known what started the argument, or if the argument is what led to the stabbing.
"They had been arguing since Thursday, where he had to leave the house. That's how intense the argument had gotten," Fredricka's cousin, Randy Sample said.
According to court records, Lewis is on probation for a previous incident in which she threatened to kill a man. She pleaded guilty to a terroristic threat charge and was given 15 months probation that was set to end May 14, 2018.
"We just never knew that she would actually carry her threat out," Sample said.
Lewis was charged in November with the misdemeanor of making a terroristic threat for a Thanksgiving incident in which she is accused of brandishing a knife at her 16-year-old son.
Sample said Lewis doesn't have custody of her three older children.
Lewis is now charged with capital murder of a child under 10 years old. She is being held without bond.
Lewis' attorney, Philip Scardino, said she is very disturbed and that she was sobbing when they briefly met before the hearing.
"Her mental health, and while that's being evaluated and while we're trying to get a good hold on that, isn't going stop me from doing ultimately what I want to do, and that is make sure that she pays for what she did to her daughter," prosecutor Joshua Phanco said.
The prosecution and the defense will have to determine if Lewis is mentally capable to stand trial.
"She doesn't seem well, and if the facts of the case prove out to what Josh (prosecutor) is saying, then yeah, she's probably got some mental problems," Scardino said.
Scardino said he'll arrange a physical and mental evaluation of Lewis.
Phanco said District Attorney Kim Ogg will decide over the next couple of months whether to seek the death penalty.
Sample said Fredricka was known for her bubbly personality and being a very smart girl.
The family has created a GoFundMe page for Fredricka's burial and other expenses.
A vigil will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Timberwalk Apartments.