Utah woman gets prison for locking her 12-year-old, 30-pound son in a feces-covered bathroom

(Marc Weaver | Pool photo) Brandy K. Jaynes, 36, pleaded guilty as charged Tuesday in 5th District Court to three counts of second-degree felony child abuse.

A Toquerville mother who locked her severely malnourished 12-year-old son in a bathroom for up to a year was sentenced Monday to serve three consecutive sentences of one to 15 years in prison for child abuse.

Fifth District Judge Eric Ludlow sentenced Brandy K. Jaynes to up to 45 years in prison Monday afternoon, according to a report from The Spectrum and Daily News, after attorneys argued about her level of remorse 

A letter from the victim in the case said he would get one meal of a couple of hot dogs every other day for four months and would be drenched with ”ice cold water in the winter,” the newspaper reported.

His statement described frustration and confusion, and as Ludlow pointed out, one “particularly heart-wrenching” paragraph in which the boy said he would like to see his mother again someday.

“She did horrible things to me, but she’s still my mom,” the boy wrote. “I feel safe now. I started feeling safe when I got away from her.”

A pre-sentence report said Jaynes has shown no remorse for her actions, but defense attorney Edward Flint countered she “has great sorrow, remorse and concern” for that boy, as well as for her other two children.

Flint wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed last week with 5th District Judge Eric Ludlow that the Adult Probation and Parole (APP) interviewer never asked BrandyJaynes questions about her son. Flint asked the judge to strike that portion of the APP report.

Flint urged the judge to take into account a letter Brandy Jaynes wrote to the court, in which she admitted that she “screwed up by not getting help” and apologized “to everyone I have hurt.”

Brandy Jaynes, 36, pleaded guilty as charged last month to three counts of second-degree felony child abuse. Though she was sentenced to a maximum penalty of one to 15 years in prison on each charge, Flint said APP sentencing guidelines call for jail time and probation.

Prosecutors asked for consecutive terms, for a total sentence of three to 45 years in prison.

| Courtesy of Washington County jail Brandy K. Jaynes

In January, Jaynes’ husband, 40-year-old Russell Orin Jaynes, took the 12-year-old boy — who weighed 30 pounds — to a local hospital for treatment after he found the child was locked in a bathroom. Later, police said the bathroom was covered in feces and had empty cans of beans and a spoon in the shower.

The boy’s two siblings told investigators that their brother had been in the bathroom for at least one year, though Flint has said he doesn’t believe the child was there for that long.

After an investigation, Russell Jaynes was charged with third-degree felony reckless child abuse, accused of not intervening sooner regarding his son’s care. He is expected to be in court again Sept. 19, when he may resolve his case, according to court records.

Flint has said that Brandy Jaynes was overwhelmed by a child with “severe special needs.”

But prosecutors say in a response to the defense memorandum that any problems the boy had were “a direct result of the defendant‘s abuse and neglect of him.”

The boy was removed from school for home schooling in December 2012, prosecutors wrote, and the only issue identified by school officials was that he had been caught stealing and was falling behind in classwork because of excessive absences.

In his sentencing memorandum, Flint says Brandy Jaynes went from being “an abused child to a young mother, to a homemaker and mother, with no outside work or interests.”

In the four months before her January arrest, Flint wrote, Brandy Jaynes began abusing heroin and methamphetamine as her 14-year marriage deteriorated.

“This was the time of the most serious decline in the victim‘s health and well-being, and probably constitutes the actual time where [the 12-year-old boy] spent either locked in, or staying in the bathroom by his own choice,” Flint wrote.

Flint noted that Brandy Jaynes had scheduled an appointment for the 12-year-old boy to see a doctor Jan. 23, but she was arrested Jan. 12.

Brandy Jaynes “concedes she should have taken [the boy] in to see doctors and specialists months or even years ago, when it was clear that she was not capable of caring for his special needs,” Flint wrote.

Flint noted that Brandy Jaynes’ prison sentence means the state will seek to permanently terminate her parental rights. If she were granted probation, there would have been a possibility of having her children in her life, Flint said.

The couple’s children are in state custody.