Jessica Dutro, the 25-year-old Oregon mother convicted of murdering her toddler son after suspecting he was gay, was sentenced to life in prison on Friday with the possibility of parole. Her boyfriend accomplice, 24-year-old Brian Canady, will serve just 12 and a half years before he is released.
The abusive mother of four was convicted earlier this month after courtroom testimony revealed she had conspired with Canady to inflict bodily harm on her four-year-old son Zachary, after she instructed Canady to “do some work on him.” In a series of Facebook messages presented in court, Dutro reportedly told Canady she suspected her son of being gay because “he walks and talks like it. Ugh.”
Zachary reportedly died from a combination of blunt-force trauma and failure to seek medical attention immediately after the attack. Trauma nurses noted that when the family finally arrived at the hospital, Zachary was “essentially dead,” and his three-year-old brother and seven-year-old sister were covered in bruises.
“Parents are supposed to protect their kids,” Judge Don Letournea told Dutro during sentencing. “And you were the most dangerous thing in your kids’ lives.”
Dutro’s remaining three children will reportedly stay with family in her absence. Their new caregivers told Orgeon Live the children “showed clear signs of neglect” and “lacked any sense of joy.”