Prosecutor says mother beat son because he showed signs of being gay
Jurors deliberated for more than an hour before finding Jessica Dutro, the 25-year-old mother of four accused of beating her 4-year-old son to death in 2012, guilty on all counts.
Dutro died in August 2012 after he was beaten so badly that his intestines were pierced. Formerly residents of Oregon City, the surviving three children are currently staying with Dutro's family.
Jurors heard closing arguments on Wednesday morning, and Dutro was found guilty of seven counts, including five counts of murder by abuse, one count of murder and one count of second-degree assault.
Dutro's sentencing is set for April 18.
Prosecutors said Dutro abused her oldest son Zachary Dutro-Boggess so severely that she punctured his intestine, allowing bodily fluids to seep into the rest of his body.
Dutro and her boyfriend, Brian Canady, were caring for Zachary and his three siblings at the Good Neighbor Center homeless shelter on Southwest Greenburg Road in August 2012, when Zachary was rushed to the hospital.
On Tuesday, jurors heard from Beaverton Police Det. Michael Hanada, who said Dutro had been searching for several items online the day after Zachary was taken to the hospital.
According to Hanada, who examined a laptop computer and phones belonging to Dutro and Canady, Dutro reportedly searched online for anger management classes and searched the Craigslist free stuff section, as well as looking at homes and jobs on the classified website.
Last week, jurors saw Facebook messages between Dutro and Canady posted months before his death.
In one, Dutro wrote a Facebook message to Canady expressing concerns that the child would grow up to be gay.
He walks and talks like it ugh, she wrote in a post to Canady about how she was making Zachary stand against the wall after he angered her. It pisses me off.
Senior Deputy Districy Attorney Megan Johnson said the message established Dutro's motive of abuse. Zachary's older sister, now 8, testified on Friday that while three of Dutro's four children received beatings, Zachary received the brunt of the attacks.
The story has gained nationwide attention, being featured on the several websites and TV networks, including The Huffington Post and Nancy Grace.
No Canady testimony
Last month, Canady pleaded guilty to lesser charges of first-degree manslaughter and second-degree assault. He agreed to testify against Dutro in the trial, but was not called as a witness in the prosecution's case.
Dutro's attorneys Scott Sharp and Chris Colburn said Canady was the one responsible for killing Zachary, pointing to his confession of doing it prior to his arrest.
Before his arrest, Canady told police he had no idea how Zachary could have sustained his injuries, then said he might have accidentally stepped on him in the night. That story changed again after Canady said he kicked the air in anger, accidentally delivering a roundhouse-kick to the 4-year-old.
Eventually, Canady said he got into an argument with a tenant at the shelter and gone to the family's room, where he kicked the boy in the abdomen with his shoes on after Zachary didn't listen. The incident reportedly took place two days before the boys' death.
That was the story police believed when he and Dutro were arrested on Aug. 20, 2012, but prosecutors said Canady later changed his story again, claiming he had given a false confession in order to protect Dutro.
On Tuesday, attorneys questioned another resident at the Good Neighbor Center who testified that her 4-year-old daughter heard a loud noise coming from the room, when the boy was allegedly being abused by Canady.
Closing arguments were given Wednesday morning.