A prosecutor said on Thursday that a woman on trial for the murder of her 4-year-old son beat him because she thought he was gay.
Zachary Dutro died after collapsing at the homeless shelter where his family was living in Tigard.
His mother’s boyfriend pleaded guilty earlier this month to manslaughter and assault for his role in the homicide.
According to Oregon Live, Jessica Dutro, 25, has been charged with murder, murder by abuse and second-degree assault, in connection with her son’s Zachary’s death in 2012.
The newspaper reports that Washington County Judge Don Letourneau ruled yesterday that a Facebook message from Dutro to her boyfriend Brian Canady was admissible evidence in the ongoing case.
The message said that Zachary was “facing the wall” because he had made her mad.
Dutro indicated she believed he was going to be gay, using a slur, and wrote: “He walks and talks like it. Ugh.”
In the message, she suggested Canady would have to “work on” Zachary.
Prosecutor Megan Johnson alleges that the message established Dutro’s motive for inflicting a pattern of abuse.
The boy died of blunt-force trauma to his abdomen and a delay in medical treatment, prosecutors said.
According to authorities, Dutro had assaulted three of her children, but Zachary received the harshest treatment.
Earlier this month Canady pleaded guilty to manslaughter and assault for his role in the homicide.