A jury in the US state of Oregon has found a woman guilty of murdering her son a day before his 4th birthday because she thought he might be gay.
It took the jury just over an hour on Wednesday to find Jessica Dutro, 25, guilty of seven charges, including murder, murder by abuse and second-degree assault, in connection with her son’s Zachary’s death in 2012.
County Judge Don Letourneau previously allowed a Facebook message from Dutro to her boyfriend Brian Canady as evidence in the case.
The message said that Zachary was “facing the wall” because he had made her mad.
Dutro indicated she believed he was going to be gay, using a slur, and wrote: “He walks and talks like it. Ugh.”
In the message, she suggested Canady would have to “work on” Zachary.
The boy died of blunt-force trauma to his abdomen which forced his bowel against his spine, causing intestinal tears. That combined with a delay in medical treatment led to his death, prosecutors said.
The prosecution detailed the gruesome events leading to the boy’s death, noting that he would have gone into septic shock as his intestines leaked pre-fecal matter, that he would not have been able to move, walk, talk or eat properly and that his injuries would have been obvious.
According to authorities, Dutro had assaulted three of her children, but Zachary received the harshest treatment.
“They beat up my brother, then he died,” Zachary’s sister told her counselor. “I seen them.”
Dutro did not react when the guilty verdict was read.