>> Jessica Dutro gets life in prison for son’s death; Brian Canady gets 12 years
« Il parle comme un homosexuel, il marche comme un homosexuel » expliquait-elle devant le tribunal. Cette « maman » était « incapable » de « supporter » d’avoir à vivre avec un futur homosexuel sous son toit.
Les procureurs l’ont déclarée coupable : Zachary aura bien malheureusement succombé à la séance de torture et aux coups de pieds que Jessica et son compagnon avaient administré au petit garçon, avant que les urgences ne soient tardivement contactées.
Son compagnon, Brian Canady, âgé de 24 ans, et accusé de complicité, a également été condamné à 12 ans et demi d’emprisonnement.
>> For her 4-year-old son’s death, Jessica Dutro received a life sentence Friday in Washington County Circuit Court.
She’ll serve 25 years before she gets her first chance at parole.
In half that time, her boyfriend, Brian Canady, will have been released from prison for his role in the child’s killing.
Prosecutors say the pair committed a deadly assault on Zachary Dutro-Boggess in a Tigard homeless shelter, then watched as his health deteriorated. They called for help only when he was beyond saving.
Emergency crews took the unresponsive boy to a Portland hospital Aug. 14, 2012, the day after his 4th birthday. He was taken off life support two days later.
Washington County jurors convicted Dutro of murder and second-degree assault earlier this month. Canady pleaded guilty to first-degree assault and second-degree manslaughter in March. They were both sentenced Friday afternoon.
Authorities say the pair subjected Zachary, his older sister and one of his brothers to a pattern of abuse.
When Zachary arrived at the hospital his brother, then 3, had five broken ribs and bruises all over his body. His then 7-year-old sister was also covered in bruises.
She eventually disclosed that Dutro and Canady gave the children “lickins.” The girl, who testified against Dutro at trial, told investigators she witnessed the couple’s fatal attack on Zachary.
Dutro, 25, and Canady, 24, have one son together. Doctors did not find evidence of abuse on the child, who was still a baby when Zachary died.
On Friday, prosecutors put up a poster-sized picture of the smiling, surviving siblings – now ages 8, 4 and 2 – in the courtroom.
Canady’s eyes froze on the image when he came into the room Friday afternoon. He sat with his attorneys in the jury box for the duration of the hearing.
Canady watched Dutro as she entered and took her seat with her lawyers at the defense table. Both defendants were in jail scrubs and handcuffs. Both declined to speak.
Dutro’s parents and sisters, who now care for her children, wrote a statement, which prosecutor Dustin Staten read during the hearing.
In Dutro’s and Canady’s care, the family wrote, the children were ruled by violence and lacked any sense of joy.
“These four beautiful children lived every day in fear. Fear of wondering if they would be beat or not,” the relatives wrote.
When Zachary died and his siblings began living with their grandparents, the children showed clear signs of neglect, the family said.
The two youngest didn’t move or play like children their age. All three were behind in their physical, social and educational development. Over time, the family wrote, they have begun to catch up.
Zachary’s older sister is a sweet, caring third-grader, Dutro’s family said.
His younger brother, now 4, “rarely ever stops talking” and “plays joyfully with his many friends.”
His baby brother, now 2, learned « on fast-forward » to hold himself up, crawl and walk.
The family wants to draw attention to child abuse and neglect in Zachary’s memory. “His short life will always be cherished, never forgotten,” they wrote.
Dutro’s sentence was mandated by Measure 11. Senior Deputy District Attorney Megan Johnson said there was no sentence appropriate for the level of harm and devastation that Dutro had caused.
Judge Don Letourneau kept his comments brief.
“Parents are supposed to protect their kids,” Letourneau told Dutro. “And you were the most dangerous thing in your kids’ lives.”
Letourneau told her she’d failed to learn from her prior assault conviction in Hawaii and the court-ordered parenting classes she’d taken there.
“And then you made an 8-year-old come here and testify in front of jury when you had no triable case,” he said. “That is low.”
Canady’s sentence was determined as part of a plea agreement. Prosecutors originally charged both defendants with Zachary’s murder. The plea offer for Canady came after the judge ruled his statements inadmissible, prosecutors said last month.
Dutro was escorted out of the courtroom in tears before Canady was sentenced.
Letourneau told Canady he was a “close second” to Dutro in dangerousness to the children.
“That’s a very slim distinction,” the judge said.