Mom arrested in child's death has criminal record

Authorities arrested Ureka Black after they say she threw her two children from a bridge, killing one.

SHREVEPORT, Louisiana (KTBS) -- The Shreveport mother accused of tossing her two young children from a bridge into Cross Lake, killing one and injuring the other, has spent time behind bars on prostitution, arson and other charges over the past 15 years, court records show.

Shreveport police booked Ureka Black, 32, into the City Jail shortly after midnight Sunday following her extradition from Harrison County, Texas. She’s held on charges of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder. No bond is set.

Black was arrested Friday hours after first responders pulled the body of her dead 8-month-old son from the lake then recovered her 5-year-old son Elijah who was still alive. Black’s van was located Friday afternoon at a rest stop in Waskom, Texas. She was arrested there without incident and held in the Texas jail until her return to Shreveport.

While Black has six arrests in Caddo and five in Bossier on her record, her time behind bars has been minimal.

There are numerous notations in Black’s court records where she was ordered to attending counseling, anger management and parenting classes in connection to her convictions and court-ordered probation. Black either would ignore the court order or attend one or two classes then quit.

Agents arranged for the girl to contact Black, who was then arrested. Black refused to answer agents’ questions and asked for an attorney. Two cell phones were seized.

The other two prostitution arrests were in Bossier in 2011 and 2015. She was not prosecuted on the first one, and on the second one she pleaded no contest and was sentenced to six months in the parish jail with credit for time served.

During her incarceration, Black wrote several letters to court officials questioning how her time served was being calculated. She asked for it to be corrected.

“I would greatly appreciate it so that I may be home for the holidays,” she wrote in one of the letters dated Oct. 20, 2015.

Black’s most substantial prison sentence came in connection with her 2010 arrest for aggravated arson. She broke into the home of her ex-boyfriend, while accompanied by her 2-year-old daughter, and set fire to the floor. Black admitted to having an argument with the boyfriend prior to that and threatened him and two others, according to an arrest report.

She pleaded guilty in Sept. 2010 to simple arson and was given 5-year prison sentence. But it was suspended and instead she was sentenced to 30 days in jail. But because of additional arrests, Black’s probation was revoked in October 2012 and the court imposed the original 5-year sentence.

A court transcript indicated Black’s child was in foster care then.

Black’s probation officer asked the court to set special conditions for Black, including setting a curfew and requiring her to attend anger management and parenting classes. That was based on his interview with Black, who said she wasn’t looking for a job and blamed that on not having a ride; however, the agent said Black had made inquiries about getting rides to clubs and friends’ houses.

She also wanted to know if staying out until 4 a.m. would violate her probation, to which the probation officer said it would. Black became “very argumentative about having to abide by one,” he wrote in a report.

Her latest arrest was in April 2016 in Caddo Parish when Black was arrested for human trafficking and prostitution. That’s one of three prostitution arrests on her record.

Black pleaded guilty in May 2017 to a reduced charge of pandering. She was sentenced to two years in prison and given credit for time served.

At her sentencing, Black admitted to encouraging a juvenile to get into prostitution. She was arrested in a sting that first led to the arrest of the young girl. Detectives then used that 17-year-old to get to Black.

According to investigative reports, the juvenile told vice agents a woman, who she referred to as ”Girk,” contacted her and told her the advertisement she was using to solicit business was set up wrong and offered to help her do it the right way. “Girk” promised within a few months the juvenile would be “driving nice cars, buying nice clothes and have more money than she ever needed,” the girl told agents.

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