Jessica Dutro is on trial for beating her 4-year-old son Zachary to death, and prosecutors say the mom snapped because she feared the toddler was gay.
Dutro is charged with murder, murder by abuse, and second-degree assault for the incident in August, 2012. Emergency crews brought the boy to a Portland hospital after a beating so severe that he had torn his bowels, and the boy was taken off life support two days later.
At the trial this week, the prosecution presented a Facebook message Jessica Dutro had sent to her boyfriend detailing the motive for the brutal attack.
In the message, Dutro told boyfriend Brian Canady that the toddler was in timeout because he had angered her. Dutro added that she thought her son was going to be gay.
“He walks and talks like it. Ugh,” she wrote, adding that her boyfriend would have to “work on” the boy.
Canady has already pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter and second-degree assault.
Earlier in the trial, Jessica’s 7-year-old daughter told about how her brother Zachary “got dead.”
“Jessica and Brian, they kept hitting him and punching him,” she said. “He didn’t listen to them so they kicked him and punched him and stuff and they kept doing it and doing it.”
Prosecutor Megan Johnson said the message points to a long pattern of torture that Jessica Dutro inflicted on her 4-year-old. They allege that she beat three of her other children, but that Zachary received the harshest treatment.
Prosecutors also said that one the Zachary was taken off life support, Jessica Dutro went onto the internet and searched for anger management and parenting classes. She made other searches for free items and sex with strangers, prosecutors added.