A mother’s instinct is to protect their children.
But Hanna Nicole Barker, 23, is said to have acted in her own best interest.
Authorities say she instructed her girlfriend at the time, Felicia Marie-Nicole Smith, 26, to kill her son on her behalf.
Smith then reportedly doused Barker’s six-month-old son, Levi Cole Ellerbe, with gasoline in July 2018.
The State of Louisiana announced last week they will pursue the death penalty against Barker if she is found guilty.
Barker initially told police that baby Levi was kidnapped by two people.
She claimed masked men knocked on the door of her Natchitoches home in Louisiana. They then pepper-sprayed her in the eyes and ran off with her child.
But within 90 minutes police were alerted to a fire at a nearby railway. There they made the tragic discovery of a baby’s severely burned body.
According to police, Smith took baby Levi to the rail road after Barker told her to.
Barker then poured gasoline over him and set him alight. After the unthinkable act, Barker then allegedly headed off to work at a nearby IHOP restaurant.
Meanwhile Levi was fighting for his life.
When he was found he was rushed to hospital. But his body could not take his gruesome injuries. He died after suffering third-degree burns over 90 percent of his body.
Smith was arrested four days later and charged with first-degree murder. Investigators then arrested Barker in the days that followed.
A Fire Marshall told the judge that Barker and Smith were in a romantic relationship. Barker apparently told authorities that she was only with Smith for attention and money.
She also admitted to instructing her to kill Levi.
Barker was on probation for drug offenses at the time of the murder.
She is said to be in breach of the terms of her probation by having Smith stay inside her home.
Barker’s hearing occurred in September 2018 and she was indicted the following month.
The mother’s trial has been set for January 13, 2020, theAlexandria Town Talk reported.
Prosecutors will also likely pursue the death penalty against Smith as well.