Father, stepmother indicted in death of 5-year-old girl

Savannah Vincent
Savannah Vincent
William Vincent and Barbara Vincent (Source: CPSO)
William Vincent and Barbara Vincent (Source: CPSO)

By Theresa Schmidt - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The father and stepmother of a 5-year-old girl who died back in 2008 have been indicted for second degree murder in her death.

William Stewart Vincent, 30, and Barbara Virginia Vincent, 29, were indicted on Wednesday morning for the second degree murder of little Savannah Vincent who died in June, 2008. Authorities say that the girl died from brain trauma.

The investigation has been ongoing since 2008.  Back then the couple had been arrested for cruelty, but formal charges were pending.  District Attorney John DeRosier says it's taken this long to gather the necessary evidence. "The investigative process for a case of this type can get very complex. In this particular case we had medical evidence from several physicians that we had to consider and it is a result of that evidence and other evidence that obviously leads to the indictment for second degree murder."

This time last year we talked with Savannah's mother and great grand parents about their loss. They described savannah's life as short and tragic. Said great grandfather Glen Vaughn, "She was neglected, mistreated as a baby. Now even in death we can't find out what happened to her. We don't even have a death certificate" Her great grandmother Clara echoed his frustration and expressed hope there would someday be justice for Savannah.  "I hope they'll get 'em and send 'em away for life," she said.   Glen added tearfully, "Oh, she meant everything in the world."

Savannah's mother Amber Vincent said she was determined to seek justice for her little girl.  Tears streamed down her face as she told us, "I feel like I'm not a good mom sometimes. I feel like I'm letting her down."

Late this afternoon Savannah's father known as Stewart Vincent was brought into the Calcasieu Correctional Center. At last word Savannah's step mother Barbara Virginia Vincent was not yet in custody.

Late this afternoon we spoke to the great grandparents who are pleased with the indictment.  Said Glen Vaughan, "It ain't gonna bring her back but at least we can know what happened and get it over with."   Clara said, "We know she's at peace now because we know she had been mistreated and they're bringing it to justice now so the baby could at least rest in peace."

The Vaughans hope that the legal process will at least help them find out what actually happened to Savannah. Said Glen, "It's just hard to have to worry every day not really knowing what happened to her."

Savannah would have turned eight July 4th.

Judge Kent Savoie set bond for Barbara and William Vincent at $150 thousand each. At last word neither had been arrested on the new charges.

Copyright 2010 KPLC. All rights reserved.