Jessica Dutro believed that her 4-year-old son, Zachary, was going to become gay, “He walks and talks like it. Ugh,” she said in a Facebook message to her boyfriend, Brian Canady. That was her reason for subjecting her son to deadly beatings.
Dutro, charged with murder, murder by abuse and second-degree assault, is on trial in Washington County Circuit Court.
“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,” a 7-year-old girl explained to a Tigard detective how her little brother, Zachary Dutro-Boggess was killed by her mother, Jessica Dutro, and her mother’s boyfriend Brian Canady.
Canady pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter for his role in Zachary’s death earlier this month.
On the morning of Aug. 14, 2012, the couple called for help. Zachary was unresponsive. Dutro told police that he didn’t wake up when she roused him and his three siblings.
Dutro said she put him in the shower because he had wet the bed. His body was limp, his head and eyes rolled.
Dr. Danny Leonhardt testified Tuesday that the boy was beyond help by the time help arrived. Zachary was taken off life support on August 16, 2012.
“We didn’t see him until he essentially was dead,” the doctor said, “We didn’t get a chance to fix him.”
Zachary’s bowel was torn in two places. “The contents of his intestines had leaked out into his body for at least two days,” Leonhardt said. The resulting shock and infection killed Zachary.
“High-velocity car crashes or bike accidents could cause similar injuries,” Leonhardt testified, “Otherwise, it takes forceful, violent kicking or stomping to cause such injuries.”
Leonhardt also evaluated Zachary’s siblings. He diagnosed all of Dutro’s children with child abuse except for the youngest, Dutro’s and Canady’s infant son.
When Leonhardt informed Dutro of Zachary’s diagnosis, he said she became “very angry, very upset.”
She was mad at the doctors, he said, for not telling her and Canady sooner about the details of Zachary’s injuries. She reportedly told the doctor “had they been made aware, they would have been able to talk to each other and get their story straight.”
Judge Don Letourneau ruled that a Facebook message from Dutro to her boyfriend was admissible evidence.
In the message, Jessica Dutro told her boyfriend, Brian Canady, that Zachary was “facing the wall” because he had made her mad.
Zachary was going to be gay, she wrote, using a slur. “He walks and talks like it. Ugh.”
Canady would have to “work on” Zachary, she wrote.