Jury finds Oklahoma woman guilty of child neglect in starving boy case

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Amy Jones

Amy Jones

LINCOLN COUNTY, Okla. – It was a shocking case of child abuse and neglect that shook an Oklahoma community.

In July of 2018, a passerby saw a boy and noticed something wasn’t right.

“A passerby saw a 15-year-old victim out in a field, and became concerned due to his appearance of his condition and called DHS,” then-Lincoln County First Assistant District Attorney Adam Panter told KFOR

When the boy was found, the teenager only weighed about 80 pounds and was suffering from severe malnutrition.

Neighbors told KFOR that they didn’t know the boy was 15-years-old, saying he looked like a small 8-year-old.

Investigators say the victim was forced to eat twigs and grass, even though the home was fully stocked with food.

“He had to forage for his own food; he wasn’t allowed food from inside the house,” Panter said in 2018.

When he was taken to an Oklahoma City hospital, doctors say they were shocked the boy was still alive.

“The doctors at OU Children’s Hospital, after treating him and testing him and evaluating him, determined that had he not been found, he would have been dead of starvation within a week,” Panter said.

In addition to being malnourished, the teenager also suffered from several injuries.

“He been shot by his dad with a shotgun with birdshot, and x-rays revealed he did have shotgun pellets still lodged in his leg,” Panter said.

In all, four people were charged in connection with the case.

4 charged in starving teen case
4 people were charged in the case of a starving teenager

In June of 2021, a jury found Jimmy Jones, Sr. guilty of child neglect. He was sentenced to six years in prison.

Amy Jones was originally facing a charge of enabling child abuse by injury and child neglect.

According to court documents, Amy Jones told investigators that the teenager hadn’t been taken to a doctor because they didn’t have insurance. However, the charges state that investigators were able to find evidence of insurance inside the house.

“Amy then stated that she had repeatedly asked [the victim’s] father to take [victim] to a doctor, but that Jimmy Jones just hadn’t done it,” the documents state.

Before trial, the charge of enabling child abuse by injury was dropped.

According to court documents, a jury found Jones guilty of child neglect. They recommended her sentence be set at eight years in prison plus a $5,000 fine.

Her sentencing is currently set for Nov. 30.

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