KATUJury: Mom guilty of beating her son to death, fearing he was gay
By Emily Sinovic KATU News and KATU.com Staff
Published: Apr 2, 2014 at 5:22 PM PDT
Last Updated: Apr 2, 2014 at 6:26 PM PDT
HILLSBORO, Ore. – A jury has found a Washington County mother guilty of beating her 4-year-old son to death because she feared he was gay.
The jury got the case Wednesday afternoon.
Prosecutors said 25-year-old Jessica Dutro abused, tortured and ultimately killed her son, Zachary, in August 2012 while living with her boyfriend, Brian Canady, and three other kids at a shelter in Tigard.
Dutro appeared stoic as the judge read the verdict - guilty of murder, five counts of murder by abuse and assault.
In court Wednesday prosecutors accused Dutro for being a narcissistic liar who never cared whether her son lived or died. They said she beat him so often that it was “systematic dehumanization” of the boy.
The prosecution argued that Dutro knew she was hurting her child and lied about it. Additionally they say a then 7-year-old watched it happen.
The defense said that witness wasn’t reliable, but conceded Dutro may not be a great mother. The defense argued, though, she wasn’t the reason her son died; instead, it said it was her boyfriend, Canady, who killed Zachary.
Canady has already taken a plea deal.
At points during the trial Wednesday, Dutro wiped tears from her face.