A Texas woman was sentenced to 60 years in prison on Thursday for failing to intervene in her boyfriend physically abusing both her infant son and the boy’s elder sister. Christy Wedgeworth, 25, was convicted of two counts of injuring a child through “omission,” by not stopping her abusive boyfriend.
Joshua Deshaun Lowe, 29, was previously convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life for beating victim Javonte Neeley, age 11 months, to death. One of his patterns was to strike the baby while wearing boxing gloves.
As previously reported, Neeley was taken to St. Michael’s Hospital in Bowie County, Texas, on July 11, 2021.
Upon arrival, Lowe told medical personnel that the child had choked on a hot dog, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by the Texarkana Gazette.
But doctors noted that Neeley had serious physical injuries, including severe trauma to the head and multiple broken bones in various staged of repair. Hospital workers called the cops. Lowe reportedly claimed that he dropped the infant after the child threw up on him, saying the boy then fell backwards and hit his head on the table.
“Lowe used a doll to demonstrate how he dropped (Javontae). He dropped the doll from one or two feet in the air,” the affidavit states. But this explanation also did not explain the boy’s vast array injuries, which “were at least seven to ten days older than the injury to the head,” the affidavit continues.
Neither of Lowe’s stories stood up to any serious scrutiny.
According to a report from TXK Today, a doctor from the Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock told police that Javontae was suffering from injuries that included “abusive head trauma, subdural hemorrhage, cerebral edema, retinal hemorrhages, healing rib fractures (five separate ribs), and bruising, (facial scalp, ear, cheek, chest, back and extremity).” The doctor reportedly said the child’s brain and eye bleeding was consistent with being violently shaken and then thrown into a hard surface.
Then, there’s Wedgeworth’s statements to police. She reportedly told investigators that she had witnessed Lowe abuse both of her kids on numerous occasions. The affidavit reportedly said she told police Lowe hit her son in the face “at least ten times” while wearing boxing gloves. According to the affidavit, she also told police that Javontae had recently suffered a dislocated shoulder. However, she said the couple did not seek medical assistance because Lowe “re-set” the infant’s shoulder himself.
But doctors reportedly told police that Javontae’s shoulder wasn’t dislocated. His arm was broken, and the doctors said any attempts to re-set the arm only made the injury more severe.
“The evidence of Christy Wedgeworth’s complete disregard for the wellbeing and safety of her children was overwhelming,” Bowie County Assistant District Attorney Katie Carter said, according to TXK Today on Friday. “Justice would not have been served without the service of the men and women on this jury as well as those who served on Joshua Lowe’s jury.”
Jerry Lambe contributed to this report.
[Images via Bowie County Jail]
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