POSTED: 01:42 p.m. HST, Apr 18, 2014
LAST UPDATED: 01:54 p.m. HST, Apr 18, 2014
A former Hilo woman was sentenced Friday to life plus 25 years for the murder of her 4-year-old son in Oregon.
Washington County Circuit Judge Don Letourneau imposed the sentence on Jessica Analani Dutro, 25, in the death of Zachary Dutro-Boggess who died from complications of blunt force abdominal injuries. Letourneau dismissed five counts of murder by abuse and one count of second-degree assault.
Kate Cruse of Pahoa who became a foster mother to Dutro-Boggess and his older sister for about a year, starting when he was 4 months old, said, "I believe the punishment fits the crime. This time, the justice system worked for the victim."
As part of a plea agreement, Dutro's boyfriend, Brian Canady, convicted of manslaughter by abuse and second-degree assault, was sentenced to 150 months in prison and three years of post-prison supervision.
The Oregonian newspaper reported that Dutro-Boggess was transported to a hospital Aug. 14, 2012, after he collapsed at a homeless shelter in Tigard, Ore., where he was living with his three siblings and her boyfriend. He suffered from traumatic tears in his bowel and was removed from life support two days later.
The newspaper reported Dutro-Boggess' older sister testified that both Dutro and Canady beat her brother.
News of Dutro's murder trial spread nationwide after prosecutors asserted that Dutro's abuse of her son may have been motivated by her belief that the toddler was homosexual.
Prosecutors presented Facebook messages between Dutro and Canady where she expressed disappointment in her son's mannerisms, describing them as gay. She wrote,"He walks and talks like it. Ugh." Dutro wrote that Canady needed to "work on" her son "big time," according to the Oregonian.