PEORIA, Ill. (TCD) — A 37-year-old mother pleaded guilty this week in connection with the 2022 death of her 8-year-old child, who suffered severe neglect, abuse, and lack of proper nutrition.
According to the Peoria County State’s Attorney’s Office, on Thursday, Dec. 7, Stephanie Jones pleaded guilty to the first-degree murder of her son, Navin Jones.
On Tuesday, March 29, 2022, at around 2:43 p.m., the Peoria Police Department responded to the 1700 block of North Gale Avenue in reference to an unresponsive 8-year-old child. Officers found the boy at the scene, and he was transported to a hospital in critical condition, where he was pronounced dead.
Police said the boy’s parents, Jones and 40-year-old Brandon Walker, were arrested and initially charged with endangering the life or health of a child.
On March 30, 2022, the Peoria County Coroner completed an autopsy and determined Navin Jones died of physical abuse and neglect.
According to WMBD-TV, the child’s parents reportedly “withheld medical care and nutrition from Navin Jones,” knowing that doing so could cause severe injuries or death. When police found the boy, he weighed 30 pounds.
Outside the child’s room, there was reportedly a note that read, “Don’t give Navin any food or drink. Do not let him out of the room. He has what he needs until I wake up.”
His room was in terrible condition, with urine and feces throughout, WMBD reports.
The child reportedly sustained beatings all over his body and showed signs of physical abuse.
Police recovered text messages between Jones and Walker that revealed in October 2021, Walker allegedly wanted to punish the victim and place him in the basement because he had urinated on the wall. Other text messages reportedly showed Walker was aware the boy was losing weight and would most likely need medical care.
State’s Attorney Jodi Hoos said in a statement, “Some cases are just too indescribable for words, and this is one of them.”
Hoos continued, “There’s value in the day that a mother shamefully admits to the world the truth about herself and what she did; and Navin Jones so deserves this day from his mother. This defendant is pleading guilty today to being the calloused child murderer that she is.”
Jones faces between 20 and 100 years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 7.
Walker’s trial is set to begin on Monday, Dec. 11.
- Mom Pleads to Son’s Murder – Peoria County State’s Attorney’s Office
- Peoria mother pleads guilty to neglecting her son, causing his death – WMBD
- Death Investigation, 3/30/2022 – Peoria Police Department
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