A homeless Oregon woman is facing trial in the brutal death of her 4-year-old son. Prosecutors insist Jessica Dutro, mother of 4, committed the heinous crime against her child because she believed the boy was gay.
In Aug. 14 2012, one day after he celebrated his fourth birthday, Zachary Dutro-Boggess collapsed at the Oregon homeless shelter where he was living with his mom and other siblings. After being rushed to the hospital, doctors found that he sustained injuries so severe that urine and fecal matter had seeped into the abdominal cavity. He died two days later.
An investigation into Zachary’s death revealed the horrific abuse inflicted on him and siblings by his mother and her boyfriend Brian Canady.
Just days after the child’s death, boyfriend Canady admitted to kicking the young boy in the abdomen because he did not immediately mind his orders to get up on the couch and watch television.
Zachary was forced to suffer through that injury without medical attention all through his fourth birthday, despite the fact he appeared wobbly and was unable to eat in the shelter cafeteria.
Then, sometime after the kick, Zachary was attacked again. According to his 7-year-old sister and Canardy, Zachary’s mother wailed on the young boy, beating him and forcing him to stand in the corner because he had “angered her.”
Showing callous disregard for the suffering of her battered son, Zachary’s mother then posted a message to Canardy on Facebook calling her 4-year-old a gay slur and insisting, “He walks and talks like it. Ugh.”
She also seemed to threaten more violence, saying that she would “work on” the boy.
Prosecution claims that the Facebook message establishes the anti-gay motive for torturing her child, who appeared to bear the brunt of his abusive mother and her boyfriend’s attacks.
Dutro’s defense attorneys, however, insist that she merely spanked Zachary and should not be held criminally accountable for the child’s death even if she had called him an offensive slur while the child was still suffering in her care.
“You’re going to hear, in short, a collection of things about Jessica Dutro and none of them are going to be horribly flattering,” the defense attorney told the courts. “And you’re going to hear some stuff that references some unusual parenting. But you won’t hear from a single credible source that Jessica Dutro caused serious physical injury or murdered her child.”
A verdict has not yet been reached in the case.
Photo Credit: Police File Photos