Waggaman man convicted of causing teen son’s death over ‘F’ class grade

A Waggaman man was convicted of manslaughter early Saturday morning (Nov. 18), for causing his teenage son’s death by beating the middle-school student with a piece of wood as punishment for one failing class grade.

Furnell Daniel Sr., 45, faces up to 40 years in prison for the death of 14-year-old Jalen Daniel. Using about a 4 1/2-foot length of hardwood that had been a railing on a baby crib, Daniel repeatedly beat the teen in their Clifford Court home on Feb. 5, 2016.

Only after the teen vomited and urinated in his bed and then became unresponsive did the father call 911 – more than 19 hours after the beating.

Jalen died from an untreated epidural hemorrhage caused by a blow to his head. In addition to numerous bruises, Jalen suffered from five bone fractures, including his skull, a wrist, a hand and a knee. Jalen suffered three strikes to his head, one of which caused bleeding in the brain cavity that led to heart failure.

Daniel denied intentionally killing his son but admitted in testimony that he paddled the teen “more than once” during the final beating.

Through the beating, prosecutors argued that Daniel committed a second-degree cruelty to a juvenile, which is the felony that led to the teen’s death. As such, Furnell Daniel committed a second-degree murder under the felony-murder doctrine.

The jury of eight women and four men deliberated about six hours before returning with the responsive verdict of manslaughter about 1:30 a.m. Judge Stephen Grefer of the 24th Judicial District Court is scheduled to sentence Daniel on Nov. 29.

Assistant District Attorneys Lindsay Truhe and Laura Schneidau prosecuted the case.