Category Archives: Death

CA Mother On Trial For Failing To Protect Son

.jpg photo of Doctor testifying in Child Abuse trial
How can any human being ignore the abuse of a Child….

Doctors testify in trial of South Valley
mother, accused of Child Abuse

VISALIA, CA  –  In the South Valley, a trial is underway for a mother charged with child abuse for failing to protect her son.

It’s been more than three years since Jimmy Horton died at the age of four, and more than four years since he was first brought to Kaweah Delta Urgent Care, unresponsive.

His mother, 33-year-old Desie Horton, is charged with felony child abuse with a special allegation of willful harm or injury resulting in jimmy’s death in February of 2014.  Her then boyfriend, Trevor Bishop, has already been convicted of second-degree murder and assault on Jimmy causing his death.

Thursday, a couple of familiar faces from Bishop’s trial took the witness stand again.

Dr. Gary Walter performed Jimmy’s autopsy, and examined his brain.

“It showed swelling, it showed evidence of an old subarachnoid hemorrhage, and it also showed a larger area of concave pressing in of the brain tissue itself where an old subdural hemorrhage had been,” Walter said.

Dr. Walter concluded the child’s cause of death to be anoxic encephalopathy due to blunt force trauma to the head.

In April, testimony revealed Trevor Bishop provided police with two explanations for Jimmy’s injuries-a slip in the bathtub, and falling after bishop tossed him in the air.

At the time, child abuse expert Dr. Frederic Bruhn said those stories would not account for Jimmy’s subdural hematoma.

“There was no evidence that Jimmy had a bleeding problem to account for either his bruises or his subdural hematoma,” Bruhn said.

Thursday, Bruhn reviewed numerous photos of Jimmy’s bruises both before and after he was hospitalized.  Some he called pattern bruises-those that conform to the shape of an object, such as a hand. He described many as unusual, suspicious, or non-accidental.

“I think there’s no question that many of these injuries are inflicted,” Bruhn said.

Horton’s trial will resume Friday afternoon.  She faces a maximum of ten years in prison if convicted of all the charges.

Child Starved To Death Fed To Pigs

.jpg photo of Child Abuse victim
Adrian Jones in 2012

Adrian Jones’s stepmom describes Child Abuse on Facebook, claims 7-year-old was
psychopath

A year before Adrian was found, Heather made a reference about feeding a person to pigs.

The stepmother who pled guilty to murdering Adrian Jones frequently posted Facebook updates complaining about the child, calling him a “psychopath,” and posting photos of the severe, abusive punishments she and her husband gave the boy.

According to an arrest affidavit obtained by the Kansas City Star, Heather Jones was a member of a private Facebook group where she repeatedly made reference to fantasies about killing the boy, and once specifically spoke of feeding someone to pigs — which is exactly how Heather and her husband Michael Jones disposed of seven-year-old Adrian’s dead body after they starved him to death in 2015.

In late December 2014, Heather Jones reportedly wrote on Facebook: “might be the next [redacted] and have to feed some pigs a body.”

A few days earlier, on Christmas Day, Heather posted a message that was a reference to a Walking Dead episode in which a child is shot in the back of the head while looking at flowers.

That same day, Heather posted a message calling the child a psychopath:

“I have a psychopath I’m giving away for free today,” she wrote.  “He broke out last night and (expletive) my kitchen and everything I had baked up!!!  I’m beyond pissed and he’s running laps around my pool and doing push ups till I’m tired unless someone wants him!!!”

As Crime Online previously reported, Heather and Michael Jones subjected the little boy, who came to live with them in 2012, to increasingly extreme punishments, and documented much of the abuse with photos that Heather’s landlord found after accessing her computer, with Heather’s permission, after her arrest.

The little boy was forced to stand outside in the cold, stand in neck-deep dirty pool water overnight, and repeatedly restrained for extended periods of time.  According to the arrest affidavit, Heather posted photos of the abuse to the private Facebook group, including one of Aidan handcuffed to an inversion table.  Other photos showed injuries from the abuse.

The Kansas City Star report does not indicate if or how other members of the group responded to the admissions of abuse and the threats to further hurt the child.

Adrian’s body was found in November 2015, after Heather called police to report a domestic incident.  After police arrived, she told them Adrian had died and Michael Jones had fed his remains to pigs on the property.  Michael reportedly led police to the remains.

Both Heather and Michael Jones pled guilty to murder charges, and were sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years.

Ohio 16th State To Ban Abortion At 20 Weeks

.jpg photo of Ohio Governor
Ohio Gov. John Kasich

Ohio’s 20-Week Abortion Ban Signals
More Restrictions Ahead

Ohio Gov. John Kasich may have opted for the less extreme of two strict abortion bills on his desk Tuesday — but his decision to sign a measure banning the procedure after 20 weeks signals an emboldened Republican Party that is likely to pursue related restrictions in the coming year, according to abortion rights advocates and opponents alike.

“We’ve already been seeing bans starting at 20 weeks,” said Brigitte Amiri, senior staff attorney at the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project.  “Certainly, Donald Trump’s election will embolden politicians at the state and federal level to push for more restrictions — including bans on abortion.”

With Kasich’s signature on Senate Bill 127, Ohio became the 16th state on Tuesday to ban abortion at 20 weeks post-fertilization, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which supports abortion rights.  It was the first, however, to do so since the election of Trump. Many expect it won’t be the last.

“Absolutely, we believe that health and safety standards are going to be considered in the next legislative session,” said Kristi Hamrick, spokesperson for Americans United for Life, an anti-abortion group that released a report Tuesday arguing that many abortion clinics are in violation of state health and safety standards.

She said that the group was “very pleased” to see the Ohio ban become law, adding that it addresses “the deadly reality of abortion in America.”

Critics of such legislation disagree with the characterization that 20-week abortion bans — a cutoff based on the much-challenged theory that fetuses feel pain at that stage — are aimed at protecting women’s health.  At that point in a pregnancy, said Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, “access to care is critically important.”

“The circumstances of each pregnancy can change,” said Copeland. “If a women has made a decision with her doctor to end a pregnancy, she needs to have access to that care.  She should not be forced to leave the state of Ohio.”

For over forty years, the Supreme Court has held that states cannot ban abortion before a fetus is viable, which happens around 24 weeks.

Yet anti-abortion groups have long championed legislation at both the state and federal level that chips away at the precedent established by Roe v. Wade.  Their hope is that with the right piece of legislation and political climate, the high court might rethink its current standard.

Twenty-week abortion bans — as opposed to stricter provisions, such as the so-called heartbeat bill which Kasich vetoed on Tuesday — appear to be targets for anti-abortion advocates looking ahead to Inauguration Day.

“By endorsing the 20-week ban in lieu of the heartbeat approach, Governor Kasich provided strong pro-life leadership to finally engage a winnable battle with the federal judiciary while saving countless babies at the same time,” said Michael Gonidakis, president of the anti-abortion group Ohio Right to Life, in a statement.

I appreciate the support of Ohio Right to Life.  @ohiolife READ MORE:  https://t.co/Uz9NJFGzZw pic.twitter.com/b1eLMM4mDq
— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) December 13, 2016

John Seago, legislative director for Texas Right to Life, agreed that 20-week abortion bans marked “the right direction for the [anti-abortion] movement to go in.”

“I do think it would present very dynamic challenges for the Supreme Court,” Seago told NBC News of 20-week abortion bans. “They would make [the justices] reanalyze the premise to uphold elective abortion as a legal right.”

He added that the next step in Texas, where abortion is already prohibited after 20 weeks, will be to pass a ban on a certain procedure used in second-trimester abortions that critics refer to as “dismemberment abortion.”

“The ultimate goal,” said Seago, “is to stop the injustice of elective abortion.”

The number of abortions have declined steadily during the time President Obama has been in office, from 825,564 in 2008 to 664,435 in 2013, according to the most recent federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures.

Tennessee Child Severely Beaten

.jpg photo of Child beaten to death
PJ Beeks

Toddler killed;  man charged with
Child Abuse

MEMPHIS, TN  –  A man was arrested Tuesday for child abuse against a 1-year-old boy, according to Memphis Police Department.

Officers received a call about an injured child at Lakes at Ridgeway, an apartment complex located on Waterstone Oak Way.  When they arrived, they found the young boy and sent him to St. Francis Hospital in critical condition.

Officers determined the child was severely beaten.  He did not survive.

Investigators identified Carl Braxton as a suspect in the child’s death.  He was arrested Wednesday.

Braxton is the boyfriend of 1-year-old PJ Beeks’ mother.

“He took an innocent life of a defenseless 1-year-old,” PJ’s aunt Jasmine Welch said.  “For nothing.”

Welch is trying to cope with the loss of her nephew.

“When we found out that the man who did it confessed, and how he confessed, and what he said happened […] was like astonishing,” she said.

Welch said Braxton killed PJ while his mother was asleep.

“He didn’t show no remorse,” Welch said.  “Like he didn’t care.  He didn’t care.  He said my nephew suffered.”

Braxton has been arrested and charged with aggravated child abuse, aggravated child endangerment, and child neglect.

Baby Brianna

Mother in New Mexico Child Abuse Case Released from Prison

Special Archive – Baby Brianna

DONA ANA COUNTY, NM  –  Wednesday, the mother of baby Brianna Lopez, the 5-month old who was brutally raped and beat to death in 2002 was released from prison.

Stephanie Lopez was released today after serving nearly 13-years of her 27-year prison sentence.  Lopez was convicted in 2003 in connection to the death of her daughter Brianna.

“This case sent shockwaves through the entire community.  Baby Brianna was horrifically tortured, raped and murdered, and we all want the monsters who took part in this brutal crime to face justice,” Secretary of Corrections Gregg Marcantel said.  “Unfortunately, the law at the time allowed these violent offenders to have a much lighter sentence than what they deserved.”

Brianna was just a few months old when her father Andrew Walters, 59926, and uncle Steven Lopez, 59927, raped and abused her.  Her mother took part in the abuse, biting the child from head to toe, and allowed the rapes to happen.  The jury found Stephanie Lopez not guilty of intentional child abuse, but guilty of child abuse resulting in death.  She received a 27 year sentence but under the law was eligible for day for day good time and credit time for time served in jail awaiting trial.

Walters received a total of 63 years in prison for child abuse resulting in death and rape.  He is also eligible for good time as is Steven Lopez, who received a 57 year sentence in total for rape and neglect resulting in death.

Walters’s mother, Patricia Walters, and his brother, Robert Walters Junior, were convicted of failing to report child abuse and were sentenced to 60 days in jail.

Corrections officials had five independent auditors to review Lopez’s case file to ensure that she served her full sentence.  The State does not have the authority to alter the court ordered sentence that permits her release.

Lopez will serve two years of parole in another state through the interstate compact agreement.  Location of offenders in interstate compact is confidential.  She will have to follow all rules and requirements of her parole as well as state and federal laws.

Baby Brianna’s Law, named after the victim, now sets a mandatory life sentence for child abuse resulting in death for a child under 13.

An effort to expand the law to children from age 13 to 18 died in the state senate in the 2015 and 2016 legislative sessions