Victor charges altered

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 25, 2009



LAPLACE – During court proceedings in Edgard Tuesday, a St. John Parish grand jury re-indicted Errol Victor Sr. and his wife, Tonya Victor, in connection with the 2008 death of Tonya Victor’s 8-year-old son, M.L. Lloyd III.

St. John District Attorney Tom Daley said the grand jury downgraded the charge against Errol Victor Sr., Lloyd’s stepfather, from first-degree murder to second-degree murder. It also upgraded the charge against Tonya Victor from accessory after the fact to first-degree murder and cruelty to a juvenile to second-degree murder.

Daley said his office obtained new evidence from a statement that Tonya Victor made to the St. John Sheriff’s Office in July that indicated she imposed “corporal punishment” on Lloyd on the evening prior to his death. Daley said the evidence reached his office in late August.

Lloyd died April 1, 2008, after he was taken to River Parishes Hospital in LaPlace by Errol Victor, 44, Tonya Victor, 35, and Lloyd’s stepbrother Errol Victor Jr., 25.

According to reports from the Sheriff’s Office, the boy was unresponsive when the family arrived and was later pronounced dead. The family immediately fled the hospital after Lloyd was dropped off.

A coroner’s report indicated Lloyd suffered various bruises all across his body. The report said the bruises did not appear to be fatal, but the records show Lloyd might have been deceased two hours before he was taken to the hospital.

Daley said prosecutors on the case believe Lloyd’s death was a result of excessive whipping with a belt by both Errol and Tonya Victor. Daley said the charges are in accordance with Louisiana’s second-degree murder statute, which includes the act of cruelty upon a juvenile. He said the prosecution does not have to prove intent to kill.

Tonya Victor had been free after posting a $250,000 bond in connection with the previous charges. Daley said when the new indictment was accepted Tuesday, District Court Judge Mary Hotard Becnel issued an arrest warrant and sent her back to parish jail. Tonya Victor’s new bond was set at $1 million. Tonya Victor remains in jail at the Sherman Walker Correctional Facility in LaPlace. Becnel disallowed a 10-percent payment in lieu of the full amount of the bond.

Errol Victor has been behind bars since February, when ad hoc Judge A.J. Kling Jr., who was sitting in for Judge Madeline Jasmine, revoked an earlier bond set at $2 million.

Daley said both Tonya and Errol Victor were charged on the same indictment and will go to trial together. Both are represented by court-appointed attorneys after the couple appointed and dismissed a long line of personal lawyers.

Daley said there are still a series of motions pending in the case against Tonya Victor. He said he hopes to have those motions resolved in October so that a trail date can be set.

Errol Victor’s family, which included 13 children, resided in Reserve prior to Lloyd’s death.

The St. John Office of Community Services took nine of the children, all younger than 18, into custody and placed them with other relatives.