A Kansas man who admitted he killed his 7-year-old son and allegedly fed the boy’s emaciated body to pigs has been sentenced to life in prison.
Michael Jones, 46, pleaded guilty in March to first-degree murder in the 2015 death of Adrian Jones. His sentence, issued Monday in a Kansas City court, gives him the possibility of parole after 25 years.
The child’s stepmother, Heather Jones, 31, pleaded guilty in November to the same charge is serving a life sentence in Topeka.
The boy died sometime in September or October but his death was never reported, authorities said.
Investigators discovered his body in a pig pen while responding to domestic disturbance call made by Heather Jones, who claimed her husband had beaten her.
The child was “essentially starved to death,” prosecutors said, and suffered horrific abuse before he died.
Several calls were made to child welfare authorities in Kansas and Missouri as the family moved back and forth across state lines, according to the boy’s grandmother.
“He was horribly abused, neglected and ultimately killed,” former prosecutor Sheryl Lidtke said as Heather Jones was sentenced last year.
Gruesome photos and video later found on her computer showed the child being struck by a broomstick and being forced to stand in chin-high filthy water in the family’s pool. Other images included shots of Adrian’s emaciated frame and pictures of him being forced to stand outside with his hands cuffed behind his back in frigid temperatures wearing little clothing.
Maternal grandmother Judy Conway said she hadn’t been able to see the boy for months before his death. Adrian was “a gorgeous little boy” who had “the kindest heart,” she told The Associated Press.
She forced herself to watch the videos taken in the Jones home by more than 30 surveillance cameras.
The first time she saw them, “I physically threw up. That’s how bad it was,” she told the wire service. “What they did to my grandson was beyond horrific.”
In a statement released last week, the head of the Kansas Department for Children and Families said the agency “thoroughly investigated” each abuse allegation.
But the administrator, Phyllis Gilmore, did not release the number of cases or what allegations they entailed.
Gilmore said her department shared information with Missouri officials and last had contact with the family in early 2012.