Prosecutors in the US state of Oregon have claimed that a woman on trial over the murder of her 4-year-old son killed him because she feared he would grow up to be gay.
Jessica Dutro is standing trial over the 2012 death of her son Zachary and alleged neglect and abuse of two other children with her boyfriend Brian Canady who also pleaded guilty to first degree manslaughter earlier this month and will serve 12 and a half years in prison as part of a plea deal for testifying against Dutro.
Dutro’s 7-year-old daughter told police that she had seen both her mother and Canady beating Zachary. Both she and another boy the couple were caring for also had injuries that were consistent with abuse but prosecutors believe Zachary was singled out for the worst treatment – telling the court that Dutro believed her son was showing signs of being homosexual and that he would grow up to be gay.
Zachary’s intestines were ruptures in two places as a result of the beating but his parents did not call 911 until two days later.