- Associated Press - Saturday, December 5, 2015

GONZALES, La. (AP) - A 38-year-old man suspected of killing his newborn son by placing him in his freezer in Lake Charles 14 years ago has been sentenced to 45 years in prison on unrelated charges in Ascension Parish after he pleaded guilty to having sex with a teenager, prosecutors said.

The Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/1PICIuE ) that Benjamin G. Tonguis has pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated crimes against nature, according to court records. He was set for trial Wednesday in state court in Gonzales.

That plea puts the focus back on the older allegations against Tonguis.

Lake Charles Police Department Deputy Chief Mark Kraus said authorities in Calcasieu Parish met on Friday to discuss the older allegations. The deputy chief is pushing to get a grand jury to take up the older case.

Kraus said he hoped the 2001 case would be brought back before a Calcasieu grand jury for a possible first-degree murder charge. The Calcasieu Parish District Attorney’s Office declined comment.

Tonguis was accused in August 2001 of killing his 9-day-old son, Tristan Tonguis.

Kraus said the parish coroner determined at the time that the child was placed in the freezer alive and died of hypothermia. Tonguis was charged with first-degree murder at the time, Kraus said, but the case never went to trial and the charges eventually were dropped against Tonguis.

Ascension Assistant District Attorney Robin O’Bannon said the plea agreement in Ascension “has nothing to do with the charges in Lake Charles.”

She said that case is “still open and still subject to prosecution there.”


Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com



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