Gonzales couple face second degree murder charges

Staff reports
Shantell Donahue

A Gonzales couple have been charged with second degree murder in the death of Jaylynn Muse, a two-year old child. Muse died late Wednesday night at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital from injuries sustained on January 8th.

On Jan. 9, detectives with the Ascension Parish Juvenile Division were called to a Baton Rouge area hospital to determine what had caused the severe head injury of two year old Jaylynn Muse.

During the investigation, it was found that the child had been taken to the hospital by her godparents, Terrell and Shantell Donahue, after they had found the child unresponsive. Jaylynn had been at the home of her godparents since Jan. 6.

Doctors at the hospital performed an emergency procedure to relieve pressure from the child’s brain after they found bleeding. There were also bruises to the chid’s abdomen area.

Shantell Donahue was questioned by detctives, and said that the group had returned from a birthday party of Saturday night, and that Jaylynn began whining while they were watching television. Donahue said she slapped the child on the hand at that time, which led to the child screaming. It is then that Donahue said Terrell Donahue punched Jaylynn. It was at this time she fell and hit her head. Donahue said they then consoled the child, making sure she was not hurt, and put her to bed.

Terrell Donahue told detectives that the child was being taught her ABC’s by his wife who became aggravated with Jaylynn. Shantell Donahue, he then told detectives, hit the child in the stomach. He also said he hit Jaylynn, which caused her to fall and hit her heaad.

Terrell Donahue