A woman in Alabama and her boyfriend, both addicted to meth, celebrated her son’s first birthday by putting him through what authorities described as “horror and pain” for thirty-six hours as they tortured the boy to death in a variety of cruel ways. Evidence showed 89 injuries, three dozen on his head and neck including a cracked skull, almost two dozen on his legs, evidence of sexual assault on his genitals and anus, as well as being held underwater and forced to drink hot sauce before the child died. The couple is facing the death penalty according to a report:
A baby died in ‘horror and pain’ on his first birthday after being allegedly beaten and sexually abused by his mother and her boyfriend, prosecutors said.
Hoss Wayne Benham was found to have suffered 89 injuries across his body with 38 of them on the head and neck, which appeared to have been caused by blunt-force trauma, an autopsy report revealed.
Both of his eyes had four injuries, and 19 injuries were found on his arms and legs. His genitals and anus were also injured, indicating sexual abuse had taken place, it is reported.
Little Hoss, of Cullman, Alabama, was taken to hospital by the couple where he was pronounced dead by medical staff on March 11, 2014.
Mum Crystal Ballenger and her partner Jeffrey Hugh Brown were arrested and charged with capital murder and sexual torture, the Cullman Times reports.
Both tested positive for drugs including MDMA, amphetamines and methamphetamine.
The trial of Brown, 38, of Vinemont, has been adjourned at his lawyer’s request on Monday but is scheduled to sometime after September, according to the Cullman Times.
It is unclear when Ballenger will stand trial.
Both face the death penalty if they are found guilty of the charges.
Cullman County District Attorney Wilson Blaylock said after the pair were indicted in 2015: “It’s really unbelievable and just hard to read what happened to this infant child.
“His last 36 hours were spent in horror and pain.”
Court documents revealed that Ballenger and Brown initially told the police the baby boy drowned in a bathtub.
But police stated the bruising and skull fracture on the baby showed signs of abuse.
According to Cullman Today, the statement read: “Crystal stated on the night of March 11, Jeff was giving Hoss a bath and she walked into the bathroom and witnessed Jeff holding Hoss under water for 20-25 seconds. (source, source)