Woman locks son in feces-filled bathroom and starves him until 12-year-old shrinks down to 33 pounds

August 31, 2017
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Woman locks son in feces-filled bathroom and starves him until 12-year-old shrinks down to 33 pounds

A Utah mother who starved her son and locked him in a feces-filled bathroom will serve decades behind bars, the Spectrum reports.

A judge ruled Monday that Brandy Jaynes must serve up to 45 years in prison for keeping her son isolated in a bathroom for 7 to 8 years, causing him to become so malnourished that he couldn’t stand.

Brandy Kay Jaynes was ordered to serve 1-15 years in Utah State Prison consecutively for three second-degree felony counts of intentional child abuse she was charged with in January, pending review from the Board of Pardons.

Jaynes, 36, pleaded guilty to causing her then-12-year-old son extreme malnutrition, protracted loss of use of limbs, and extensive emotional and mental delays earlier this month after officials found what they described as a “torture chamber” inside Jaynes’ home in Toquerville. The 12-year-old boy weighed just 33 pounds when his father rescued him in January. At the time, the boy was lying in a blanket on a bathroom floor that was laden with feces.

The father subsequently brought the boy to a hospital where doctors found that he had a vitamin deficiency and had pressure sores from lying in the same location. His skin was also peeling and he could hardly walk, the newspaper reports.

“The child looked like he was the victim of a concentration camp from World War II,” Washington County Lt. David Crouse said at the time the boy was discovered, as reported by CrimeOnline.

The bathroom door had been locked from the outside and had an alarm system to alert Jaynes if the boy ever tried to escape.

Jaynes also installed a baby monitor so she could see a video feed from inside the bathroom.

Fifth District Court Judge Eric Ludlow called Jaynes’ actions “deplorable” and said her son endured abuse that “no child should be subjected to.”

“I’ve been doing this for 30 years, (and) I’ve never seen anything like this,” Ludlow said. “I’ve handled murder cases, rape cases, and I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s unbelievable, quite frankly.”

In a statement from Deputy County Attorney Angie Reddish-Day and testimony from Kerri Smith, the doctor who initially treated the victim at Dixie Regional Medical Center and has continued to treat for him, the court heard details of the now 13-year-old victim’s living conditions.

I’ve been doing this for 30 years, (and) I’ve never seen anything like this.”
5th District Court Judge Eric Ludlow

According to Reddish-Day, evidence from the crime scene and the victim’s testimony leads officials to believe he was held in isolation for 7-8 years.

Although the victim was not present in court, Reddish-Day read aloud a letter he wrote with the help of his foster parents.

“Instead of eating breakfast, lunch and dinner, I would only get one meal of a couple of hot dogs every other day for months,” the victim’s statement read. “I felt frozen when I was drenched with ice cold water in the winter.”

The victim’s statement, as read by Reddish-Day, went on to describe his feelings of anger, frustration and, mostly, confusion.

Ludlow pointed out “a particularly heart-wrenching” paragraph in the letter in which the boy expressed he would like to see his mother again someday.

“She did horrible things to me, but she’s still my mom,” the statement read. “I feel safe now. I started feeling safe when I got away from her.”

“She did horrible things to me, but she’s still my mom.”
a sentence from the victim’s written statement

According to court record, the victim was found locked in a bathroom that was covered in feces. The bathroom locked from the outside with a mechanism that Reddish-Day described as something that was “set up for confinement specifically,” adding that the lock was located at the top of the door and was also equipped with an audible alarm.

Several photos of the crime scene were booked into evidence, and Reddish-Day described the still photos a baby monitor had captured while sending a live-feed of footage to Jaynes’ computer and cell phone, as to monitor the victim while he starved.

“It’s just sickening — there’s no other word for it,” Reddish-Day said.

The photos depicted the victim lying on the floor of the bathroom in “what is clearly extreme distress and hopelessness,” whereas the only space on the floor that was not covered in feces was on the blanked he lied on.

According to Smith, the victim weighed 33 pounds when he was booked into the hospital and he was “well below” the growth chart standards for height and weight.

The boy’s liver enzymes were elevated, he was low in vitamins, his skin was peeling, he had pressure sores from lying in the same spots on his “bony extremities,” and he could hardly take any steps.

“It’s just sickening–there’s no other word for it.”
Deputy County Attorney Angie Reddish-Day
“He was in a lot of pain,” the doctor testified.

During his argument, defense attorney Edward Flint said because of the hyperbole and inflammatory labels Jaynes’ case has been given, he was unable to accurately defend her, he said.

As the case has unfolded since January, much Flint’s defense on Jaynes’ behalf has been that she did not act intentionally, and that the abuse was a way she “dealt with the stress in her life,” adding there was evidence of drug use in the days and weeks preceding her arrest.

“It’s impossible to put a shine on this case,” Flint said. “It’s baffling that the family members didn’t do anything.”

“It’s baffling that the family members didn’t do anything.”
Defense Attorney Edward Flint

Flint said there were countless times the victim’s father, who’s also been charged with reckless child abuse in the third degree, was aware of the situation and didn’t do anything to follow up and could have checked on the victim sooner.

Ludlow asked Flint if he was attempting to “shift the blame” on Jaynes’ family members, but Flint argued that Brandy fell into an addiction of heroin and methamphetamine for at least four months before the victim was found by the father.

“This is not the story of a witch that needs to be burned at the stake. That’s the popular sentiment. This is the story of a woman who began to fail in her duties to her family, in particular to one son who needed help in a different matter, and she failed in that regard and things got worse,” Flint said. “Instead of admitting she couldn’t do it anymore and getting help, she compounded things and made them worse.”

Authorities said Jaynes repeatedly lied to the father and had prevented him from seeing the child.

While the boy did not appear in court, he wrote a letter to the judge that detailed the abuse.

“Instead of eating breakfast, lunch and dinner, I would only get one meal of a couple of hot dogs every other day for months, the boy wrote in the letter. “I felt frozen when I was drenched with ice cold water in the winter.”

A lawyer for the mother said Jaynes had “personal issues” and “become addicted to heroin and Methamphetamine” for several months before the father found the boy

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