Father Attacked In Courtroom After Pleading Guilty To Intentionally Setting House Fire And Killing His 3 Children


A father in Louisiana had just confessed in court to killing his three children as he set his residence on fire following a domestic dispute. Then, a woman who is a family member to the children is said to have burst into the courtroom and tackled the man to the floor.

More family members are accused of attacking Joseph Washington Sr., as well.

Court officers then broke up the attack, and Washington continued with his guilty plea. The plea took away the death penalty as an option and would give Washington a mandatory life sentence.

On Thursday, April 11, 30-year-old Washington pled guilty to three counts of first-degree murder and one count of obstruction of justice.

Just prior to midnight on October 17, the children’s mother contacted authorities. She stated that Washington had threatened to set their house on fire.

Minutes later, a fire was reported. As authorities arrived on the scene, the small residence was already burning.

When firefighters went inside, they found an 8-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl close by the front of the home, still breathing.

When they looked further into the residence, they found 3-year-old Avery Washington deceased. Her siblings, Joseph Washington Jr. and Jayla Washington died from their wounds an hour later.

The following day, Washington’s car was discovered almost completely submerged in the Mississippi River.

That same day, he was apprehended after he was fleeing from another vehicle that had been parked on an interstate overpass. He had been attempting to to jump off.

Authorities stated on Thursday that Washington’s girlfriend, Shanyka Phillips, is waiting to go on trial. This is for offenses connected to aiding him in evading law enforcement in the hours following the house fire.

Thursday was the first time that the children’s family members had seen Washington since the house fire.

No one involved in the attacked seemed to be seriously wounded. Additionally, an unnamed woman was apprehended as the other relatives that were involved were kicked out of the courtroom.

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