Woman who beat son to death because she thought he was gay gets life sentence

The Oregon woman who beat her 4-year-old son to death because she thought he was turning out gay was sentenced to life in prison on Friday. OregonLive.com reported that Jessica Dutro, 25, and her live-in boyfriend Brian Canady, 24, were both found guilty and sentenced in the August, 2012 beating death of 4-year-old Zachary Dutro-Boggess.

Zachary and two siblings were living with Dutro in a Tigard, OR homeless shelter when Dutro messaged to Canady on Facebook that she thought Zachary was going to be gay.

“He walks and talks like it. Ugh," she wrote. She said that she and Canady were going to have to "work on" the boy.

A series of brutal beatings from both Dutro and Canady followed. The boy collapsed in the homeless shelter the day after his fourth birthday and was taken to a Portland hospital. He died less than 48 hours later.

Dr Danny Leonhardt examined Zachary before he died and said that his injuries were as severe as those seen in the victims of violent car crashes. The 4-year-old was also covered in bruises that suggested "prolonged, repeated" abuse.

The injury that killed Zachary was a blunt force blow to the stomach so brutal that it perforated his abdominal wall, allowing urine and fecal matter to flow throughout his body, contaminating and killing his vital organs.

Dutro received a life sentence, but will be eligible for parole in 25 years. Canady plead guilty to first-degree manslaughter and second-degree assault and was sentenced to 12 years behind bars.

Zachary's 7-year-old sister and 3-year-old brother also showed signs of abuse, according to Dr. Leonhardt. They have been placed in foster care.