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Boy Dead of Dehydration; Punishment for Wetting Bed

A couple is under arrest in Texas, accused of punishing their 10-year-old son for wetting the bed by refusing to give him water. The boy died of dehydration.

The Dallas Morning News reports that Jonathan James died on July 25, and court documents just released details the horror that were the last days of his life.

The documents say he suffered for five days without water, forced to stand at the window in a room without air conditioning with the hot Texas sun beating down in him. His twin brother Joseph said on the day he died, Jonathan got peanut butter stuck in his throat.

“They still wouldn’t let him have water,” Joseph said, according to the documents.

Jonathan eventually collapsed, hitting his head on the floor. An ambulance was called but it was too late -- he died later at the hospital.

His father and stepmother, Michael James and Tina Alberson, are charged with injury to a child causing serious bodily injury. They remain in jail.

The court documents say that Jonathan and Joseph were staying with their father on a month-long, court-ordered custody visit. But Jonathan did not want to go.

"(Jonathan) called me and said, ‘Can I come to your house instead? I know I’m going to be in trouble while I’m there because I always am,’” said his grandmother Sue Shotwell. “That’s the first time we ever heard that from him.”

Joseph said he was unable to help his brother.

“I wanted to do something, but I couldn’t,” Joseph said. “I couldn’t do nothing because I would get in trouble.”


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