Michael Jones, 46, who pleaded guilty in March to the first-degree murder of his 7-year-old son, was sentenced on May 8 to life in prison. The boy's stepmother, Heather Jones, 31, pleaded guilty to the same charge and is also serving a life sentence.
Adrian Jones, 7, was murdered sometime in September or October 2015, but his death was never reported to the authorities, according to the Independent. Instead, his abusive parents took the boy's emaciated body and fed it to the pigs outside their rural Kansas home.
At his sentencing hearing, Michael did not address the court. He also turned his chair so he could not see which family members had testified about the crime.
When the charges were filed, the county's district attorney at the time, Jerry Gorman, said it was one of the worst cases investigators had ever seen.
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Adrian's parents used a number of forms of abuse against him, including forcing him stand overnight in water up to his neck, blindfolding and binding him on an inversion table and constant surveillance designed to starve him, the Daily Mail reports.
The family, which had more than 30 cameras set up in the home, also kept meticulous records of the abuse. Pictures found on Heather's computer reveal the extent to which the parents beat Adrian, as well as the situations they put him in.
Heather, who also pleaded guilty, claims it was Michael's idea to abuse the boy, and that she was powerless to prevent it. She says she was also abused by Michael. But prosecutors found evidence Heather also took part in the abuse.
The court also heard that before the family moved to Kansas, Adrian had a chance to speak with child protective services.
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In 2013 Adrian, who was 5 at the time, told a Missouri Children's Division worker and police officer that he was being abused, according to The Kansas City Star.
"My daddy keeps hitting me in the head and punches me in the stomach and my mom keeps pulling my ears and it really hurts," Adrian told authorities after an anonymous caller had informed police of possible abuse. "Mommy and Daddy lock me in a room by myself. Mommy and Daddy can't feed me."
But according to records the Children's Division found no evidence he had been neglected. Investigators and medical staff did not see signs of physical abuse on Adrian. Because of that, he was never removed from the home.