On Monday, May 11, 2-year-old James “JJ” Sieger Jr. died from horrific injuries he allegedly suffered at the hands of his mother and her boyfriend. Now, she and her boyfriend are facing child abuse and homicide charges.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Jasmine Bridgeman, 23, and her boyfriend, Joshua Schoenenberger, 34, of Layton, Utah, beat the toddler for defecating in his diaper. Although his actions were quite common for his age, the couple became furious and mercilessly beat the child over the soiled diaper. But, that’s not all. Schoenenberger allegedly took the horrific assault a step further by taking off the toddler’s dirty diaper and smearing feces on his face, according to Fox-59.
Bridgeman, who also participated in the brutal beating of the child, reportedly stepped out to smoke a cigarette, allowing Schoenenberger to continue the deadly punishment. Investigators stated the child’s physical injuries were a result of being “beaten, kicked, punched and dropped,” reports Fox-8.
On the morning of Saturday, May 9, Bridgeman and Schoenenberger brought the toddler to the emergency room claiming he’d almost drowned in an effort to explain his breathing difficulties. However, medical examiners quickly discovered that definitely wasn’t the case.
The toddler was unresponsive with bruises all over his entire body. He’d suffered internal bleeding and had bruises on his neck, face, chest, back, arms, legs, and groin, which also revealed the beatings had been ongoing. The toddler was airlifted to Primary Children’s Hospital. After several surgeries, he died as a result of the injuries he sustained.
Following their arrest, Bridgeman and Schoenenberger had different accounts of the horrific events that led to the child’s death. According to Good 4 Utah, Bridgeman admitted that she did leave her son with Schoenenberger, but when she heard him screaming, she went back into the house and attempted to enter the bathroom where they were but she couldn’t get in because he had locked the door.
“She told police ‘Joshua got upset with (toddler) over potty training issues. Specifically that he had pooped in his diaper.’ In her statement, she also revealed he’d “smeared the poop from the diaper in (toddler’s) face.
A short time later (Bridgeman) heard (toddler) screaming and came inside to check on him. (Bridgeman) went to the bathroom and could hear (toddler) screaming and could also hear what she described as (Schoenenberger) hitting (toddler) saying she heard the skin hitting skin noise and Joshua yelling at (toddler) to take a shower.”
Once she was able to enter the bathroom, she found the toddler “lying on his back vomiting.” Shortly after, that’s when they opted to take him to the hospital.
Lt. Travis Lyman with Layton Police Department released a statement regarding the toddler’s untimely death. Although she insists Schoenenberger was the one who beat the toddler, local authorities have also accused her of participating.
“It’s just horrible,” Lt. Lyman said.
“Certainly the injuries looked like the result of abuse and the biological mother and her boyfriend were the ones who brought the child in and their stories were not matching up or making sense with what we were seeing. The biological mother did allow significant amount of abuse to go on without intervening, but also engaged in it herself.”
Unfortunately, the boy’s biological father, James Sieger Sr. and paternal grandmother, Krista Sieger, both contacted the Department of Child and Family Services after seeing the toddler in a store with bruises on April 16, but unfortunately, they were unable to have the child removed from the home in a timely fashion. The family grieves not only because of the child’s death, but because they feel his suffering could have been prevented.
“We could have stopped this whole thing,” said Krista.
“Very upset we have been trying for a long time to get those kids out of that situation,” said James.
It has also been reported that Schoenenberger has quite a history with child abuse. Apparently, he previously assaulted another child after he became infuriated over a water balloon. He was sentenced to six months behind bars and ordered to attend anger management classes for that attack.
Jasmine Bridgeman and Joshua Schoenenberger are both being held at the Davis County Jail. Although they were initially arrested on charges of child abuse, a second-degree felony child abuse, a class-A misdemeanor, they are now expected to face homicide charges.
[Image(s) via KUTV Screen Captures, Davis County Sheriff’s Office]