Dad of Lacey Fletcher, Who ‘Melted’ into Couch, Claims Maggot-Infested Sofa Was 'Her Sanctuary'

Clay and Sheila Fletcher were sentenced to 40 years in prison with 20 years suspended

Lacey Fletcher
Lacey Fletcher

The father of 36-year-old Lacey Fletcher, whose dead body was found “melted” into a maggot-infested couch, claimed the sofa was his daughter’s “comfort” in the lead up to her death.

Clay Fletcher, who was sentenced to 40 years in prison — with 20 suspended — along with his wife, Sheila, made the claim at his sentencing hearing Wednesday, WBRZ reported.

"Her world closed in on her gradually because of her phobias, fears, and social anxieties,” Clay Fletcher said, according to the outlet. “The couch was her sanctuary. It was her comfort zone.”

Lacey was found dead in her parents’ Louisiana home in January 2022. Sheila and Clay previously pleaded no contest to manslaughter, according to WBRZ, WAFB and The Advocate. Her body was found with “ulcers on her underside and fecal matter crushed into her face, chest and abdomen,” The Advocate reported, citing court documents.

Related: Parents of Lacey Fletcher, Woman Who 'Melted' Into Maggot-Infested Couch, Sentenced to 40 Years

Lacey Fletcher
Lacey Fletcher

Both parents cried at their hearing, saying they could have done more to change the outcome of Lacey’s death, per the outlet.

WBRZ and The Advocate both reported that Lacey had previously been diagnosed with autism, and according to testimony Wednesday, her fears were so bad that she refused to leave the home.

The Advocate reported prosecutors argued that Lacey’s mental state meant she was unable to make the decision to refuse medical treatment, which Clay and Sheila had reportedly claimed, per WBRZ.

<p>East Feliciana Parish Sheriff's Office</p> Clay and Sheila Fletcher

East Feliciana Parish Sheriff's Office

Clay and Sheila Fletcher

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The outlets reported that at the time of her death, Lacey weighed 96 pounds and had tested positive for COVID-19.

"We can argue about whether or not this process took three months, six months or three years. I don't really care," Judge Kathryn Jones before announcing their sentence, according to The Advocate. "This was a tragedy. The truth is that Lacey laid on a couch and slowly died because she got no medical or mental health care."

The parents will have to serve 5 years probation after their release from prison, according to WAFB.

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