Dec. 11, 2022

Lyntell Washington // 141 // The barefoot witness

Lyntell Washington // 141 // The barefoot witness

Lyntell Washington died from a gunshot wound to the head near Baton, Rouge, Louisiana, when she was seven months pregnant.  Her boyfriend Robert Marks was a married assistant principal, and he was later convicted of her murder.  Solving the case came down to the barefoot witness, Lyntell's 3-year-old daughter.  

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Transcript

This story does have a young child and in the episode, they hid her identity, so I will not state her name. In an article, her father said she was his angel, so we'll refer to her as Angel to make it easier.


It starts with a video on June 9th, 2016. A security camera picks up a little girl, running around a parking lot barefoot, clutching a pillow. It was a hot and steamy day in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She was 3-years old and she was all alone. A man named Leslie Parms noticed the young girl who we are calling Angel and he asked her where her parents were and she just looked around and didn't say anything. Leslie knew something was off and he said he has a passion for helping people, so he called 911. As he's on the phone, he says, “You hurt your foot, that's why you're bleeding? You have blood on your foot because you hurt it?” Angel was incredibly articulate for her age and she said she was not hurt. 


Angel was able to show Leslie where her mother's car was in the parking lot. It was a Toyota Corolla and Leslie tells the dispatcher, “Oh my gosh. There's blood on the front seat of the car. It's a sizable amount of blood. It looks like somebody....something happened.” Leslie turns to the little girl and says, “Did Mommy bleed? Mommy was bleeding?” Angel says “yeah”. Leslie says, “Did you see where the blood was coming from?” Angel says, “From my mommy's head.” She was able to explain that they were supposed to go to the beach, but someone hurt her mama. In an incredibly chilling moment, you can hear Angel telling the police, “I have to take a bath to get the blood off my feet.”



The police ran the plates on the car and the owner was Lyntell Washington, Angel's mother. They lived in an apartment that was very close to the parking lot where the vehicle was found. So, police wanted to know why her car was found in this parking lot when her home was down the street. Detectives looked at security cameras from 11:30 the night before and you can see Lyntell's vehicle heading towards her apartment. Suddenly, the car stops, turns around and pulls into the parking lot away from the camera. 



Lyntell was a teacher at a middle school and no one had heard from her. She didn't show up to teach her class. She was described as loyal, dedicated, hardworking, kind, funny, passionate, trusting, and someone who always had a bright smile. Being a mother was very important to her and Lyntell had a twin sister named Cyntell. She had been married and divorced, but didn't seem to have very good luck when it came to dating. She met Darren Glasper at a BBQ and they began dating. She told him that she had surgery and the doctors told her that she was no longer able to conceive. About a year later, she found out that she was pregnant with baby Angel and it was a miracle pregnancy. 



Unfortunately, Darren was drinking and doing drugs, so they broke up when Lyntell was 8 months pregnant and this is when she decided to move to Baton Rouge, to start a new life. Lyntell Washington was a single mother who worked as an instructional specialist at the Brookstown Middle Magnet Academy. Her friends say that she had a loving, caring heart and she gave her students everything she had. She was definitely looking for love when she moved to this new town, but things weren't going that great until she met Robert Marks and he was the assistant principal at the school. The two of them began secretly dating because Robert Marks was actually married. Lyntell told a close friend, Melissa Mason, that she knew Robert was married, but he was still living with his wife and they were going through a divorce.



The night before the little girl was found wandering around the parking lot, Lyntell's ex-boyfriend, Darren called her. So, this is Angel's father. He left a voicemail and he said, I just had the craziest dream that you were pregnant with a little girl. She never received this message. After police had interviewed 3-year-old Angel, they called Lyntell's twin to come get here. So, Cyntell comes rushing in and Angel starts yelling, my mommy's back! She asked her, are you ok mommy? And she started checking her for injuries. 



So, this secret relationship that Lyntell was in with the assistant principal, Robert Marks. He was successful and had a PHD in education and the two of them started at the school around the same time. Lyntell actually was not interested in him in the beginning. She wasn't attracted to him and she had told her friends this. Robert sort of wore her down. He continued to pursue her and wanted to take her on a date. He was not wearing his wedding ring and he told her he was getting a divorce. He claimed that he and his wife lived in a two-story house and she was living upstairs and he was downstairs. 


The relationship was complicated from the beginning since he was married, but he didn't act married. If Lyntell called him, he answered right away and he had time to take her out on dates. He was showing her that he was available. 



When police were talking to Angel, she said, “My mommy got a baby in her tummy.” Sure enough, they found sonograms in her apartment and one of the photos said I'm a girl. So, this matches the dream her ex had about her being pregnant with a baby girl. Lyntell was 7 months pregnant and the baby was Robert's, this was later proven through DNA evidence. One week before she went missing, she did tell the Brookstown assistant principal, Jamicia (Jam-ee-sha) Pink-Fisher that she was pregnant with Robert's baby and she planned on telling Robert's wife.



Robert told Lyntell that he was going on a trip to Panama City for a family reunion, but she found out that he lied. She saw a photo of him and his wife on social media and they were on a cruise. She was furious. It didn't look like they were going through a divorce. She spent the whole week getting more pissed off because she couldn't even get a hold of him while he was on this cruise. When they got back, she decided to go to their house and she planned on telling Robert's wife everything, but she got a big surprise. It wasn't a two story home where they were living on separate levels, it was a trailer home. 


Lyntell sent a message to Robert “Just keep it 100% with me. Do you really want me? Are you quitting....to run away from your responsibilities with me.. and our unborn daughter?” Robert suggested that they meet up and talk face to face. Detectives realized that he was the last person to see Lyntell, so they brought him in for questioning. He said that he didn't know where she was. He saw her the previous night for about a half hour. Lyntell was in her car with her daughter and Robert was riding a motorcycle. He immediately admitted to the affair, but said his wife didn't know about it. He did have an alibi for the night of Lyntell's disappearance. After meeting up with her, they went their separate ways and he drove to a local bar, Twin Peaks to watch a basketball game with some friends. 



Police got the cell phone records for Lyntell and they were trying to figure out where she had been. One area that was pinging was across the Mississippi from Baton Rouge. As we know, the towers don't give you an exact area, so detectives had to think about the best places to dump a body and that lead them to Whiskey Bay. Detectives were not able to find her and they searched for 5 days. Solving this case came down to her daughter, Angel. 



A forensic interviewer asked Angel, what did you hear when your mommy got hurt and she said, “I hear a boom!” She said that her mom had been hurt by “Mr. Robbie” She said that she heard a bang and after the bang, her mom was shaking. She said that her mom was in the lake and it was dark outside when her mom got hurt. 



On the fifth day of the investigation, Lyntell's body had been found and that was on June 14th. She was badly decomposed, but her clothing matched what she was wearing on the cameras at school on the day of the disappearance. The cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head and she was found in the irrigation ditch in the sugar cane field. The ditch was full of water at the time of the murder and this all matches what Angel said, meaning, she witnessed the whole thing.



Authorities stated that Lyntell's unborn child could have survived with medical attention since she was in her third trimester and the baby didn't suffer any trauma. Unfortunately, the baby died because Lyntell died.



Investigators went back to the interview with Angel. She had been saying Mr. Robbie was gone and he was the one that put the blood in the car. When they first found her, she pointed to her mother's car and said “Mr. Robbie did that blood.”



Robert Marks lied about his alibi. He was never at Twin Peaks, they have security cameras and he wasn't there. Investigators looked at cell phone records for him and Lyntell. On the night of the murder, the two of them did meet up near a Walmart and she had Angel in the backseat. Robert claims that after 30 minutes, they went their separate ways, but that's not true. You can see the two cell phones moving together and pinging off the same towers. He got into her car. The phones ended up in a secluded area at a pistol range and they spent about ten minutes there. Detectives believe that this is where Lyntell was murdered and neighbors wouldn't have been alarmed about hearing a gunshot at a shooting range. The phones ended up in another secluded area and there is nothing to stop at, but they were there for about 30 minutes and this is where her body was later found. 



Angel was in the backseat of the car this entire time. The phones travel together back into Baton Rouge, then Lyntell's phone was powered off and disappeared. Angel was left in the bloody vehicle all night by herself. Robert leaves and begins texting another lady that he was having an affair with and tells her to come get him. Remember, he had driven Lyntell's vehicle and he just dropped it off in a parking lot and he needed to get back to his motorcycle.



This third lady of his was named Tramica (Truh-mee-ca) and he told her that he was a medical doctor. She showed up voluntarily and said that she picked him up around 11 PM on the night of the murder. He was standing on the street where Lyntell's car was later discovered. Tramica's car can be seen picking him up on the bank security camera and she drove him to his motorcycle. She looked like an accessory to murder, but she had no knowledge of what happened.



Robert Marks was charged with second-degree murder, feticide, aggravated kidnapping, two counts of kidnapping, obstruction of justice, and four gun charges, according to Oxygen. Charges were originally filed in East Baton Rouge, but the case was moved to Iberville (ih-bur-ville) because there was uncertainty about where Lyntell was actually murdered and cell phone records show a number of different places the murder could have taken place. Robert's wife, Kayla was stunned by the charges and said she didn't know about the affairs, but she was going to stand by her husband.


Robert's bail was set for more than $800k and he was able to get out. Angel's father had to hide her because she was the witness and could clearly say it was him. He worried that Robert might try to go after her too. 



Angel was 9 years old when the trial finally started in December of 2021. District Attorney Tony Clayton was emotional when he talked about Lyntell's daughter walking around the parking lot with blood on her feet and when he talked about Lyntell's unborn daughter. He asked the jury to be a “wall of justice” and to deliver “Gumbo justice, not like they have in New Orleans but it should be ice cold, just like the ice cold water running through Robert's veins.”



As it turns out, after Robert found out that Lyntell was pregnant, he implied that he wanted her to get an abortion and she got upset. He started researching guns online and he was also looking up stories about pregnant women that went missing or were murdered. Lyntell was threatening to tell his wife the truth and that's his motive, he didn't want this to happen.



Robert's attorney didn't present any witnesses and he didn't even do a closing argument. The jury deliberated for 30 minutes. When the verdict was going to be read, the clerk didn't even say the words yet and Robert stood up and put his hands behind his back, waiting to be cuffed. Once he was found guilty, his wife Kayla did file for a divorce. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole at Angola Prison. 



Angola prison is one of the most brutal prisons and it's known as the “Alcatraz of the South” and “The Farm”. It was created by a former Confederate major, Samuel Lawrence James, who purchased a plantation and started putting prisoners there and he named the plantation Angola after the country where the majority of the slaves originated. Angola Prison is officially known as The Louisiana State Penitentiary and it's a maximum security prison. It's earned a reputation for being the bloodiest prison in the South because stabbings are extremely common. 


Robert did get a new attorney and said he is going to appeal, but nothing has been scheduled as of now.


Angel's father, Darren Glasper, got sober because he said, “This child's going to need a father in her life.” The two of them live together and he said they have their good days and their bad. When asked about his daughter he said, “I see that she's smart, educated. She's focused when she puts her mind to stuff.” Lyntell is remembered by her friends, family, and students as a dedicated teacher, doting mother, and loyal friend.


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