An Oregon woman has been convicted of fatally beating her young son in a homeless shelter just days before his 4th birthday.
The Oregonian reports that Jessica Dutro, 25, has been found guilty of murder, murder by abuse and second-degree assault in the death of her son, Zachary Dutro-Boggess. The verdict was unanimous.
Prosecutors say Zachary died on Aug. 16, 2012 of blunt-force trauma to his abdomen and a delay in medical treatment, according to reports.
Court documents cited by KATU and other media outlets described a series of Facebook messages between Dutro and her boyfriend, Brian Canady, in which she said she believed Zachary was gay. Using an anti-gay slur, she suggested Canady, 24, "work on" her son: “He walks and talks like it. Ugh.”
Although the messages were deemed admissible evidence, prosecutors didn't emphasize them in their arguments to the jury, instead focusing primarily on testimony from a therapist for Dutro's 8-year-old daughter, according to an earlier report in The Oregonian.
“Zach, he’s my real dad and Brian is my stepdad. My mom is Jessica," she said, according to the therapist."They would punch me and slap me. They beat my brother up, then he died. I seen them.”
Earlier this month, Canady pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter, and second-degree assault, in connection with Zachary's death, The Oregonian previously reported. At the time of his arrest in 2012, Canady admitted to kicking Zachary in the abdomen while wearing shoes, according to The Portland Tribune.