Cops: Killer Said He Would Kill Wife Or Child Before He'd Pay Child Support

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- A man who initially told police gunmen kidnapped his 2 1/2-year-old son was arrested Saturday, accused of committing an "extremely hideous" murder because he was ordered to pay child support, Police Superintendent Warren Riley said.

Danny Platt confessed, told police where to find the child's body and will be booked on a charge of first-degree murder in the death of Ja' Shawn Powell, Riley said at a news conference.

"He had said he would kill either his wife or his child before he paid child support," which he recently had been ordered to do, Riley said.

Riley said he did not know the amount of child support and would not describe how the boy was killed, saying the coroner would do that after the autopsy was complete. The coroner's spokesman did not immediately return a call.

"The mother is in a safe place," Riley said.

Although he had visiting rights, Platt, 22, of New Orleans, had never visited the boy until he picked him up Friday, Riley said.

Police put out a notice Saturday asking people to look for the boy and saying his father had told them three men with dreadlocks and AK-47 rifles had piled out of an SUV and kidnapped Ja' Shawn shortly before midnight Friday.

"His story never really added up," Riley said. "He was a suspect from the very beginning."

Riley said Platt eventually confessed and told officers where to find the body.

Police spokesman officer Janssen Valencia said he did not know if Platt has an attorney.

Platt had only a couple of "very minor" previous arrests, Riley said.

"How does an individual - because he's ordered to pay child support to take care of a kid ... believe that this is so much pressure that he would face - he would do this hideous act to his own child, or to any child, and think that is a remedy to paying child support?" Riley said. "I mean there are some sick individuals in this society, and this gentleman is clearly one."


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Bobby Bats Location: New Jersey on Jan 16, 2009 at 10:53 AM
    And did anyone hear about a man from California named Cameron John Brown? No? Well Three years ago his Pushed his daughter off of a 130 foot cliff to avoid paying a life crippling $1000 per month Child Support order. There are many crimes that occur because of Staggering Child Support Orders. I think the only reason this one has had so much pulbicity is because Danny Platt is Black, Brown is White. What's up with that?
  • by Suli on Jan 5, 2009 at 12:32 PM
    Post "TO" Anonymous was not "FROM" Anonymous! Sorry about that!
  • by Anonymous on Jan 5, 2009 at 11:27 AM
    Anonymous, you're right on! Simple solutions that nobody thought of, including the Mom. If this man had never visited this child, I would not want to put the little fellow through having to be a part of the life of a Dad who obviously didn't care about him; or his Mom for that matter.
  • by Steve Location: Kinston on Jan 4, 2009 at 07:08 PM
    I cannot believe that the police superintendent called this sicko a gentleman. The solution is simple.
  • by Delta Location: Greenville on Jan 4, 2009 at 03:03 PM
    Lets be careful not to bash all fathers because of this incident. There are many other cases where the so called mother is just as bad if not worst than the father. The court systems and society tends to think being a mother automatically qualifys them as the better parent and awards the mother with the kids which leaves the father having to pay the mother awarded amount for which the mother does not have to show any accountability for where the funds are going and to add to that only be able by court see his kids on predetermined time aka schedule. So to a comment that was made, yes there are some huge flaws in the system which can be debated on who it favors me, the mother, the father or who ends up with the kids which most often is the mother in reference to what I have already explained. Bottom line is that the kids are the real ones that loose. At any rate I cannot imagine anyone wanting to harm a child, they did not ask to be brought into this world.
  • by Chris on Jan 4, 2009 at 03:01 PM
    What a low life coward! He got to be in the situation that he is in because of the choices that he has made. I'm sure we'll see some family member say he was a good person he is and would never do such a thing. I'm sure his lawyer will have him mentally evaluated to see if he is competent enough to stand trial and say he doesn't know right from wrong. Nothing surprises me anymore.
  • by Concerned for others too Location: NC on Jan 4, 2009 at 01:06 PM
    I think this is a huge flaw in our court system today. This may be a bit off the subject at hand, but I know of a deadbeat dad who still gets to see his children every other weekend and on holidays and he has not paid one cent towards their child support. He has been arrested twice for lack of payment of support. The other times the police "looked" for him, but could never find him. He picks his kids up every other weekend at a certain location, how come they can't go there and get him? I don't think he would physically harm his 3 kids like this man did to his son, but why do non-custodial parents who do not pay child support still have the court ordered right to come and take their kids? They aren't helping to feed, clothe, or take care of them when they are at home with a custodial parent, so how do know a non-custodial parent with "no income" (getting paid under the table) is really caring for the kids when they are with them? Bless this mother. Her son is in heavan now.
  • by Kathy Location: Washington on Jan 4, 2009 at 09:54 AM
    Court ordered visitation? I think the noncustodial parent should undergo extensive psychological evaluation because the court ORDERS anything.
  • by MrT Location: LaNC on Jan 4, 2009 at 09:13 AM
    If found guilty, the dad and his buddies should be executed by public hanging. And let the whole town come and watch.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 4, 2009 at 08:22 AM
    This is a sad case of dead beat dad. My question to this story is this, if the father had not ever visited the son before why in the world would a mother let him go ahead and pick the child up? If it were me and it has been, I would let the father see the child supervised until the father and child got to know each other. A man that young sometimes will not have the emotional bond that is needed to love a child so soon. Some do, some do not. What has happened is a terrible thing, and who knows it could have been prevented with a little bit of thought. Just my imput.
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