The stepmother of a five-year-old girl who died last year accepted a plea of manslaughter Monday as jury selection got underway in the trial.
Catherine Lowe was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Celeste Lowe back in January 2011. Her husband and Celeste's father, Wesley Lowe, is charged with negligent homicide.
Detectives reported on the morning of Jan. 13, 2011, Catherine said her stepdaughter Celeste had been sick and vomiting, so instead of taking the girl to school Catherine brought the child to work. The couple both said they thought Celeste was sick from a stomach virus.
It is alleged that Catherine reportedly passed several hospitals on the way back to their Elm Grove home before the couple drove Celeste back to W. K. Pierremont where she was pronounced dead.
An autopsy of the child by the Bossier Parish Coroner showed she died from "blunt force trauma to her abdominal cavity."
In January 2012, Celeste's biological mother, Jamie Mercer, filed a lawsuit against Child Protective Services, the Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office and the state's Attorney General. Wesley and Catherine Lowe are also named in the lawsuit.