Father sentenced to 40 years after beating son to death for failing grade

A Waggaman man who caused his teenage son’s death after beating him over a failing grade at his middle school was sentenced Monday to 40 years in prison for manslaughter.

Furnell Daniel Sr., 45, was held criminally responsible for the death of 14-year-old Jalen Daniel. A Jefferson Parish jury found the father guilty of manslaughter on Nov. 18.

Prosecutors said he used a length of hardwood that had been a railing on a baby crib, Daniel repeatedly struck his son in their Clifford Court home on Feb. 5 after the teen returned home from school with an ‘F’ in one course.

Despite his complaints of pain and his urinating and vomiting in his bed, his father did not call 911 until more than 19 hours after the beating, when the teen became unresponsive.

Jalen died days later.

Daniel stood trial on a charge of second-degree murder. He admitted to striking his son with the board but denied intentionally killing him.

After denying a defense motion for a new trial, Judge Stephen Grefer of the 24th Judicial District Court handed down the 40-year sentence, saying in part that he believed Daniel would abuse his other children.

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