Dufresne death ruled accidental by autopsy

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 17, 2004


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – A 42-year-old woman allegedly choked into a state of unconsciousness on Dec 10 by her 50-year-old husband is believed to have died of natural causes.

According to Sgt. Dane Clement, Public Information Officer with the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office, Deborah S. Dufresne of 1813 Helvetica Court died from natural causes resulting from a history of heart problems.

“There were no indications of bruising or trauma to the body that would have caused her death,” said Clement. “The coroner is still waiting on toxicology reports.”

Dufresne called the Sheriff’s Office Friday, Dec. 10 at 2:59 a.m. to report spousal abuse. She told a responding deputy that her husband choked her until she blacked out, because the two had argued.

Dufresne said she called authorities after she regained consciousness.

Dufresne’s husband, Richard P., was charged with domestic simple battery and booked into the Sherman Walker Correctional Center.

At 5:14 a.m., Deborah Dufresne called the sheriff’s office for the second time. She complained she was suffering shortness of breath.

Authorities found Dufresne lying on the floor inside her home.

Taken to the River Parish Hospital, Dufresne died at 8:10 a.m.

Authorities were investigating Dufresne’s death.

Following the coroner’s report, Richard Dufresne’s bond was reduced from $250,000 to $5,000.

Dufresne was freed Monday after posting bond.