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A Louisiana educator accused of killing a pregnant teacher and her unborn child four years ago is now facing additional charges.
Robert Marks, a former assistant principal at a Baton Rouge magnet school, is accused in the 2016 shooting death of fellow educator Lyntell Washington, who was pregnant — allegedly with the man's child.
Marks was first charged in East Baton Rouge Parish. However, due to the uncertainty regarding where Washington was killed, a judge ruled the case should be heard in the neighboring parish of Iberville, the Advocate reported. Cell phone records indicated that the shooting may have occurred in a number of locations.
On Tuesday, grand jurors in Louisiana indicted Marks on a series of fresh charges, including second-degree murder, feticide, aggravated kidnapping, two counts of kidnapping, obstruction of justice, and four gun charges, online jail records show.
“We believe that once he has his day in court, a jury will convict him,” said 18th Judicial District Assistant District Attorney Tony Clayton after Tuesday’s hearing.
Marks was previously facing second-degree murder and feticide charges, which have since been dismissed. He has denied those charges against him.
In 2016, Washington’s decomposing body and her unborn fetus were discovered in an irrigation ditch near a sugarcane field. Investigators initially suspected the 40-year-old Louisiana teacher had been gunned down in a garbage dump or a drainage canal.
"The shooting likely took place at the landfill near our shooting range," police detective Zac Woodring told prosecutors in 2019, according to the Advocate. "I believe she was placed in the car after being shot.”
Washington’s car was found down the street from where she lived with the interior splattered with blood. The woman’s 3-year-old daughter was later found wandering around an apartment complex parking lot, her feet reportedly stained with her mother’s blood.
The child told detectives that she and her mother and “Mr. Robbie” were together when she heard a loud bang, the Associated Press reported.
“She further stated that Mr. Robbie was trying to clean the blood and that her mother was ‘in the lake,’” a police report said.
An autopsy later confirmed Washington died from a gunshot wound to the head. She was five months pregnant. Marks is believed to be the father of Washington's child, police said, according to WWL-TV.
Both Marks and Washington worked at Brookstown Middle Magnet School. Investigators said Marks, who is married, didn’t want word to spread that Washington was pregnant with his child, according to the newspaper.
Before her death, Washington allegedly accused Marks of trying to flout parental obligations.
In texts, the expecting mother asked the assistant principal if he was “attempting to avoid his responsibilities with ‘our unborn daughter,’” according to the AP. In another instance, co-workers told investigators that Washington allegedly threatened to tell Marks’ wife she was pregnant.
Marks was fired from the school following his initial indictment in 2016.
A new court date hasn’t been scheduled in the case, according to online records. It’s unclear if Marks has retained legal representation. He is being held without bond at an Iberville Parish detention facility, jail records show.
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