A man described by a prosecutor as a "serial baby killer" who inflicted fatal injuries on his 10-week-old daughter in Desert Hot Springs less than two years after another of his infant children met a similar fate was sentenced to death today. Jurors convicted 39-year-old Jason Michael Hann in December and recommended he be executed for killing his daughter, Montana, in February 2001. Riverside Superior Court Judge James S. Hawkins upheld their recommendation.... Krissy Lynn Werntz, the baby's 34-year-old mother and Hann's then-girlfriend, is also charged with murder and has a March 17 trial date. Prosecutors said Hann struck Montana in the head, inflicting fatal skull fractures. He wrapped her head in duct tape and her body in trash bags and placed her in a Tupperware container, which was then put in another trash bag and kept inside a trailer for a year at an Arkansas storage unit. When Hann and Werntz stopped making payments, the trailer was auctioned off to an Arkansas man, who discovered the bag in February 2002.
It took Washington County jurors just over an hour to unanimously convict Jessica Dutro for the shocking death of little Zachary Dutro-Boggess, whom Dutro reportedly thought was gay. Dutro was found guilty on all seven counts, Oregon Live reports: one count of murder, five counts of murder by abuse and one count of second-degree assault. The 25-year-old mom remained stony-faced as the verdict was read in court. She will be sentenced on April 18.
During the trial, prosecutors revealed a Facebook message that Dutro sent to her 24-year-old boyfriend Brian Canady. The mom, using a slur, told Canady that she thought Zachary was going to be gay. “He walks and talks like it. Ugh,” the mom wrote. She then asked Canady to “work on” the boy “big time.” In closing arguments, Johnson argued that the testimony that Zachary’s sister gave was all the jurors needed to find the mom guilty. "They beat up my brother, then he died," the 8-year-old girl told her counselor. "I seen them."
A Pennsylvania mother and father who believe in faith-healing were sent to jail Wednesday for causing the death of their young, sick child by refusing to take him to the doctor. It was the second of Herbert and Catherine Schaible’s children to die under their care.... The Schaibles pled no contest to third-degree murder in their eight-month-old son Brandon’s death last year from pneumonia. The Schaibles lost a first child in 2009, a two-year-old who died from pneumonia. They were sentenced to ten years probation for involuntary manslaughter for that death. Part of their probation stated that they must seek medical care if another one of their children became sick.
Don't get me wrong: mothers and fathers can be great. I had a mother and a father and they were awesome parents to all four of their kids. But making sure that parents come with mix-matched sets of genitalia—making it a legal requirement for a couple to become parents (which is what the Liberty Counsel seeks to do)—does not guarantee that children will be safe and loved. Having gay parents, as we've seen here in Seattle, is no guarantee either. Children need loving, fit, qualified, sane, and—speaking from experience here—infinitely patient parents. Fit and loving parents can be gay or straight or bi, single or partnered, rich or poor, liberal or conservative, trans or cis, kinky or vanilla, monogamous or monogamish.
If mix-matched sets of genitals, a.k.a. "natural parents," was all it took, Liberty Counsel, then Montana, Zachary, and Brandon would still be alive. (Liberty Counsel video via Slog tipper Ray.)