An eight-year-old boy who was beaten and starved to death by his parents had a sign on his door which read ‘Don’t give Navin any food.’
Navin Jones, from Illinois,was rushed to hospital after he was found unresponsive and covered in bruises at his home on March 29, 2022, and died shortly after.
The young boy was found in a locked room covered in urine and faeces, and had signs of physical abuse across his face, body, arms, and legs.
He weighed just 30 lbs, and had a note on his bedroom door which read: ‘Don’t give Navin any food or drink. Do not let him out of the room. He has what he needs until I wake up.’
His cause of death was chronic malnutrition and physical abuse, and both his parents have been charged with his murder.
Navin’s mother Stephanie Jones, 37, last week pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in exchange for less prison time, while his father Brandon Walker, 41, is on trial this week for the same charge.
During Walker’s trial, jurors were shown pictures of the skeletal child, whose bones were visible through his skin.
Navin’s muscles had wasted away, his skin was discoloured, his body fat was all gone and his internal organs shrunk below their normal sizes and weights.
His wrists showed signs of being bound and his body was covered in bruises it could no longer heal, coroner Dr. Amanda Youmans told the court.
‘He was so malnourished, he couldn’t even make a response to an injury,’ she added, according to local station WNBD.
Prosecutors said that the boy’s room was disgusting and deplorable, with just a bed and one toy, while the rest of the home on North Gale Avenue was ‘well furnished’ with a fully-stocked fridge.
Navin’s older brother, who was 12 at the time of his death, also had a nicely furnished room with toys and video games, in a stark contrast to his younger sibling.
Body cam footage has since revealed the moment that Peoria police showed up to Jones and Walker’s home after Jones called 911 to report Navin was cold and lifeless.
Officers in the clip immediately take issue with Jones’ story and the state of the boy’s body.
Stephanie, the mother, is seen sitting on the steps of the home, crying into her hands, while smoking a cigarette.
When the father is told that there is a chance the child cannot be resuscitated, Brandon runs to a car, smashes his fists onto the hood, and shouts: ‘There’s no f**king way.’
Other evidence presented during the trial included texts exchanged between the couple which saw them express anger that Navin had eaten food from the trash or urinated on the wall in his bedroom- which they kept him locked inside with a rope.
Before living with his mother and father, Navin was cared for by his grandmother Laura Walker, who was the boy’s legal guardian. She had taken care of him since he was five months old.
But after briefly leaving Washington in July 2021 to take care of her sick mother, she returned to find Walker and Jones refusing to give the boy back to her.
In an emotional testimony read to the court, she recalled the last time she saw Navin in hospital shortly before he died.
‘He didn’t look human. I touched his shoulder and there was nothing there but bone sticking out,’ she said through tears.
‘There were bruises all over his face. I’ve never seen a human being that thin. It was like a little skeleton.’
Jones faces at least 20 years in prison when she is sentenced next February.
In return for her guilty plea, State’s Attorney Jodi Hoos agreed not to give her a life sentence.
Jones has now agreed to testify against the boy’s father Brandon Walker, 41. His trial is ongoing.
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