A mother who regularly flouted the importance of good parenting on social media admitted to standing and watching as her boyfriend called her two-year-old son a ‘r**ard’ and then beat him to death for struggling with potty training, a court heard last week.
Mother-of-two Candice Jones, 32, struck a deal with prosecutors last Thursday which saw her plead guilty to child neglect in exchange for a prison sentence of between three and 15 years.
Jones told investigators that she was too scared of her lover John Powers, 47, to prevent him from viciously battering her young son Joseph ‘JoJo’ Gaborsky III at her home in Princeton, West Virginia, in August 2018.
The court heard how Jones watched on as Powers savagely beat JoJo with a belt and body-slammed him into a bathtub after the toddler suffered a mishap during potty training.
Reportedly further incensed by the boy’s ‘squirming’, Powers then slammed the two-year-old face-first onto the floor, before shaking him violently ‘with both hands by the throat and back of his head’ for between three and five minutes.
JoJo wouldn’t receive medical attention for another two weeks. Jones claims she didn’t call an ambulance or summon police because ‘Powers repeatedly threatened to kill her’ and she was afraid of him.
The little boy tragically died two days after arriving at hospital, having suffered numerous broken bones, retinal hemorrhages, brain bleeds and blood clots.
Mother-of-two Candice Jones, 32, struck a plea deal with prosecutors last Thursday which saw her plead guilty to child neglect in exchange for a prison sentence of between three and 15 years
Jones told investigators that was too scared of her lover John Powers (left), 47, to prevent him from viciously battering her young son Joseph ‘JoJo’ Gaborsky III (right) at her home in Princeton, West Virginia, in August 2018.
On her Facebook page, Jones had reportedly posted numerous photos of JoJo, and her daughter, whose age is not known, and preached the importance of good parenting.
In the ‘About’ section of her profile, she also wrote: ‘i have two wonderful kids a son and daughter. I am separated. the best things in my life are these kids. there (sic) my whole world,’ according to the Bluefield Daily Telegraph.
In a post under her ‘Favourite Quotes’, she wrote: ‘Any one can say there (sic) a parent but a real parent is there no matter what and is there loveing (sic) unconditionally you can not be a partime (sic) parent it’s a 24 7 job.’
Jones' father David Hart, whom she lived with before moving in with Powers, voiced disappointment at his daughter’s sentencing, insisting she should be jailed for longer as she has so far failed to show remorse for her actions.
‘We’re not happy with it. I don’t think Candice really realizes the severity of what’s happened,’ Hart told the Telegraph. ‘You know, we lost a grandson, and still today she has not shown any remorse when we talk to her or anything on any of this. And I just don’t think the sentencing is right.
‘I think she needs more time. She needs to know the severity of the crime she’s done. I don’t know what else to say about that, I really don’t,’ he continued.
Speaking about Powers, Hart added: ‘We’re not happy with either one of them. I think they ought to release him to me. That would be taken care of.’
During a separate hearing last Thursday, Powers - who was previously jailed for 13 months in 1995 for battering the two-year-old son of a former girlfriend - entered a ‘best interest’ plea into death of a child by parent or guardian.
The plea is not an admission of guilt, rather a concession that the defendant acknowledges there's sufficient evidence to convict them. He now faces a sentence of between 15 years and life in jail.
‘You’re saying you don’t know what happened, won’t admit what happened,’ the judge Mark Wills said to Powers about best-interest pleas, adding, ‘Is that why you are entering this plea, to avoid being sentenced to more time in the penitentiary than you would under this plea agreement?’
‘Yes, sir,’ Powers responded.
Little JoJo died on August 10, 2018, having