Zuni woman gets 20 years in death of son

Published 2:20 pm Monday, July 29, 2019

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On Wednesday, Judge Robert Sandwich sentenced a Zuni woman to 20 years in the penitentary for charges relating to the death of her son in January 2018. This information comes from www.courts.state.va.us, which tracks and posts court cases in Virginia. Georgette Phillips, commonwealth’s attorney for Isle of Wight County, confirmed the sentencing on Friday.

Jaye Hadley, 33, had pleaded guilty on May 1 to the physical abuse of Alexander Levia Robertson that first led to serious injury. The 5-year-old died as a result on Jan. 16. Hadley was arrested days later on a charge of murder in the second degree, which later was reduced to involuntary manslaughter.

Phillips said that although the medical examiner’s report could not pinpoint what exactly caused the boy’s death, the head-injury that occurred on Jan. 18 was determined as “life-altering.”

Also involved in the case was the woman’s boyfriend, Justin Dean Cox, who was charged with child abuse and involuntary manslaughter. He made an Alford plea on Jan. 14, which meant that he didn’t admit to guilt, but acknowledged there was enough evidence to convict him. At Cox’s sentencing on March 19, he received 10 years on each charge, but five were suspended. He will have indefinite probation on release.

Phillips also said that Hadley and her boyfriend had each given different accounts of what happened. The mother, for example, offered five different versions, which included that the boy fell off of a tree stand.

“We asked for the maximum penalty,” said the attorney, who had assisted Steve Edwards in the prosecution.

She added that the judge “made it very, very clear“ to Jaye that she was the mother and had to protect her son … Ultimately, she failed.

As for when the couple will be sent to penitentiaries, Phillips said that will depend when and where the Department of Corrections can find room for them.