Kansas man to get life term for killing of 7-year-old son

A Kansas man will be sentenced to life in prison Monday for the killing of his 7-year-old son, who authorities say was subjected to horrific abuse and was “essentially starved to death” before his remains were found in the family’s pig sty.

Michael Jones, a 46-year-old former bail bondsman from Kansas City, Kansas, pleaded guilty in March to first-degree murder in the 2015 death of his son, Adrian Jones. He will be sentenced Monday to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years.

The boy’s stepmother, 31-year-old Heather Jones, pleaded guilty to the same charge in November and is serving her life sentence. She insisted that she felt helpless to protect Adrian and herself from her abusive husband, but investigators said she, too, abused the boy and she received an additional five years and eight months in prison for child abuse.

Adrian died in September or October 2015, but his death wasn’t reported to the authorities. His remains were found that November after officers learned the boy was missing while they were responding to a report that Michael Jones had attacked his wife at their home.

When the charges were filed, Wyandotte County’s district attorney at the time, Jerry Gorman, said it was one the worst cases investigators had seen. He declined to discuss reports that the child’s remains were fed to the pigs, saying only that they were found near them.

At Heather Jones’ sentencing hearing, Sheryl Lidtke, a former prosecutor in the case, said that Adrian had been physically and emotionally abused, confined and “essentially starved to death.”

“He was horribly abused, neglected and ultimately killed,” Lidtke said. “I’m sure his suffering was unbearable.”

Adrian’s biological mother lost custody of him and two of his siblings several years ago. Her mother, Judy Conway, said last week that she finally brought herself to look at videos and digital photos from the Jones’ home that showed the horrific abuse Adrian suffered in the months before…

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