18th Judicial District Attorney Tony Clayton (photo courtesy of The West Side Journal).
Long-time Sound Off Louisiana subscribers may recall our feature two years ago in which East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Beau Clark was directly confronted regarding cremating bodies when the causes of death were suspicious and potentially entailed foul play.
We have recently been contacted by a loose-knit group of family members of murder victims in West Baton Rouge, Iberville, and Pointe Coupee Parishes. Those tree parishes constitute the 18th Judicial District in Louisiana.
The District Attorney (DA) for that district is Tony Clayton. Ricky Ward, for whom Clayton previously served as First Assistant DA and Chief of Felony Trials, retired last year after serving as DA for 30 years. In the election to replace Ward, Clayton drew no opposition.
Clayton certainly didn’t fail to draw opposition as a result of any level of satisfaction of families of murder victims who were killed in the three-parish area Clayton serves. In fact, those who have contacted us have described Clayton as “corrupt,” and at least one family member of one victim, Kathryn Simpson, has asserted that Clayton has been outright hostile toward her family in its efforts to uncover the killer of her mother, Kimberly Womack, in 2008.
According to Simpson, her mother was having an affair with a West Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Deputy. That deputy remains unnamed, allegedly because Clayton has asserted to Simpson that revealing his name would result in the media publishing material that would, “ruin the deputy’s life.”
According to Simpson:
My mom’s nude, bloody body was found in her back bedroom by her landlords, and Tony Clayton arrived on scene. The coroner declared it a homicide and called for CSI. Then they discovered the cell phone belonging to the deputy with whom my mom was having an affair. The call to CSI was canceled, and they did not process the scene in any way, not even fingerprint dusting.
After the autopsy, the Pointe Coupee Sheriff’s Office told my family that my mom fell and hit her head, causing a subdural hematoma that killed her. We believed them and had her cremated.
The coroner called me and told me that they lied and that her death was being classified as a homicide and she had injuries all over her body.
I called Tony Clayton looking for help, and he told me my mom died due to the way she lived and he called me crazy.
The death certificate says the cause of death is blunt force trauma by assault and the case is still open.
Simpson was actually featured on an award-winning KATC (Channel 3 in Lafayette) investigative report. Let’s take a look at that feature at this time:
KATC (Channel 3 in Lafayette) investigative report featuring Kimberly Womack’s daughter, Kathryn Simpson, which aired on March 8, 2020.
We at Sound Off Louisiana plan to conduct interviews with these family members in an effort to fully air their grievances with Clayton and the 18th Judicial District’s investigations into their family members’ murders. Simpson has agreed to sit down with us for an interview later this week. She will update us on developments since the above KATC investigative feature 18 months ago.
We believe our subscribers and site visitors will find her update fascinating, as will also be the case for future episodes of this feature for those family members willing to visit with us and air their grievances and frustrations.
In the meantime, for those curious, we’d invite everyone to visit this Facebook page, which now has 265 members as of the date of this feature, which sort of serves as a central clearinghouse for developments in these murder victims’ families travails.
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