FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 17, 2017
COVINGTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that Larry Bickham, 60, of Slidell, was sentenced Monday (April 17) to life in prison. Bickham, who had more than 10 prior felony convictions and four misdemeanor convictions, was on probation in 2014, when he exposed his 17-month-old daughter to cocaine, which landed her in a hospital emergency room.
Bickham was found guilty last November of second-degree cruelty to a juvenile and simple cruelty to a juvenile for allowing the victim to be present during the manufacturing, distribution, or purchasing of cocaine. District Judge William J. Burris sentenced Bickham under the state’s habitual offender law, which increases penalties.
“People who make a career out of crime run the risk of spending the rest of their lives in prison,” District Attorney Warren Montgomery said.
The case against Bickham dates back to an incident on May 1, 2014, when his toddler daughter was rushed to the emergency room at Ochsner Hospital in Slidell and tested positive for cocaine. A woman who had kept the toddler for Bickham in the past testified during the trial last year that he had called her that day and asked her to care for the toddler temporarily because the child was not feeling well. The caregiver said she brought the girl home but then had to rush her to the emergency room after the child suffered a seizure. During tests at the hospital, the toddler tested positive for cocaine in her system. Witnesses testified during the trial that Bickham used his home to cook and sell crack cocaine, while the child lived with him.
Burris sentenced Bickham to life in prison without the benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence on the second-degree cruelty charge and 30 years on the simple cruelty charge. The sentences are to be served at the same time.
Criminal Division Chief Collin Sims and Assistant District Attorney William Macke prosecuted the case.