In the ongoing murder trial of Brandon Walker, a father from Illinois, a forensic pathologist testified on the second day, shedding light on the distressing condition of the defendant’s 8-year-old son, Navin Jones. The pathologist, Dr. Amanda Youmans of Peoria, Illinois, stated that at the time of Navin’s death, he weighed only 30 lbs. Prosecutors contend that the child’s death resulted from parental starvation.
According to reports from WCBU and WMBD-TV, Dr. Youmans conducted Navin’s autopsy in 2022, revealing that the boy had lost nearly all his fat stores, and his organs were smaller than normal. Brandon Walker, 41, faces two counts of first-degree murder in connection with Navin’s death, who was found unresponsive at their Peoria home on March 29, 2022, and later pronounced dead at the hospital.
Dr. Youmans testified that Navin died from chronic malnutrition and physical abuse, noting bruises on his body in different stages of healing. She highlighted that muscle atrophy would have severely limited the boy’s mobility at the time of death.
In a significant development, Navin’s mother, Stephanie Jones, 37, entered a guilty plea to one count of first-degree murder as part of a plea deal, with sentencing scheduled for February 2024, according to WPBG and Peoria County court records.
Prosecutors have accused both parents of starving Navin to death, with trial evidence including alleged text messages indicating anger toward Navin for actions like eating from the trash or urinating on the wall.
Testifying during the trial, Navin’s grandmother, Laura Walker, revealed that despite having legal custody of Navin and his brother, the parents refused to return the boys after a visit in 2021. Laura Walker reported the incident to the Department of Children and Family Services, but the boys were never returned to her.
Defense attorneys for Brandon Walker have shifted blame to the boy’s mother, Stephanie Jones, asserting that she is responsible for Navin’s death.
If convicted, Brandon Walker faces a potential life sentence in prison, as the trial unfolds with a heartbreaking narrative of alleged parental neglect leading to a tragic outcome for young Navin Jones.
If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.