ST. GEORGE – A requested bail reduction was denied Tuesday for the Toquerville woman accused of abusing her 12-year-old son by locking him away in a bathroom and starving him. Authorities also announced that the boy’s father has been charged with child abuse due to this alleged culpability in the case.
Brandy K. Jaynes, 36, appeared before 5th District Judge Eric Ludlow with her attorney, Ed Flint, Tuesday morning. Flint requested that Jaynes’ bail, which currently stands at $20,000 cash-only, be made bondable for $10,000 so she could get out of jail.
See the interviews in video top of this report.
Deputy Washington County Attorney Angie Reddish Day argued that the request not only be denied, but that Jaynes be held without the bond, citing the “particularly heinous” and “depraved” nature of the case.
Despite efforts by both sides to have the bail adjusted, Ludlow ruled to keep it the same, noting that the question of bail will likely come up again when a preliminary hearing is had.
Being stuck in jail isn’t allowing Jaynes to do what she needs to fulfill requirements set by the juvenile court that could help reunite her with her children, Flint said. This includes mental health assessments, parenting classes and supervised visitation. Flint suggested Jaynes could be released under supervision and possibly outfitted with an ankle-monitor.
“She intentionally and knowingly abused her child,” Reddish-Day said as she argued against the reduction in bail.
Jaynes was arrested Jan. 9 after her son was taken to Dixie Regional Medical Center by his father, Russell Jaynes, the day before. The boy was severely malnourished and unable to use his limbs due to prolonged lack of use, Reddish-Day said.
The mother is accused of keeping her 12-year-old son locked away in a feces-covered bathroom for at least a year, if not longer. The boy was allegedly fed once a day for a time, then every other day by the mother, Reddish-Day said.
An average 12-year-old is around 90 pounds, Reddish-Day said. When the boy’s father brought him to Dixie Regional, he weighed 30 pounds.
Hundreds of photos left on a laptop and on a phone document the progression of the “torture” Jaynes put her son through, Reddish-Day said. Jaynes also watched her son lying on the bathroom floor through a baby monitor and camera set up in the locked bathroom.
Jaynes currently faces a second-degree felony for knowingly and intentionally abusing her son. Other charges are pending as the investigation moves forward. Some of the forthcoming charges will be related to the boy’s loss of mobility due to his atrophied limbs.
Other charges may stem from the boy not being in school since the second grade. Due to this, he acts at a second grade level, Reddish-Day said.
The case has since gained international attention with support for the boy coming in from across the nation and overseas.
Reddish-Day said it was “outrageous” that Jaynes appeared to think she could profit off the whole ordeal due to the publicity it had gained.
During a monitored call at the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility, Reddish-Day said Jaynes told her mother that People Magazine and the “Dr. Phil” program were interested in her story, with the magazine offering as much as $100,000. She evidently laughed at the prospect, which the prosecution said was an example of the callousness of Jaynes.
Flint said the laugh was likely taken out of context and noted much of the evidence presented by the prosecution during the bail hearing was largely hearsay and some of it could possibly be subject to being suppressed as the case moves forward. Ludlow appeared to agree while also noting that lawyers’ opinions don’t count as testimony.
As for Russell Jaynes, who recently filed for divorce from Brandy, he faces a third-degree felony for child abuse for his level of culpability and recklessness for not getting the boy medical treatment sooner, and will be held accountable.
“Brandy is far and away the more culpable than Russell in this whole situation,” Reddish-Day said following the hearing, noting Russell Jaynes was the one who “rescued” the boy and finally took him to the hospital.
Initially it was reported by investigators that Jaynes and her husband were separated, and that Russel Jaynes wasn’t living at the Toquerville home when the boy was locked away.
“There was no rescue here. He knew where the child was,” Flint said. He has argued since the case’s beginning that the father was at the home the entire time. “There’s no ‘found’ here. He knew where to find his child. Why didn’t he do that six months ago? I’d sure like to know.”
The motive behind the boy’s bathroom confinement as still under investigation, Reddish-Day said. “Honestly, it’s baffling,” she said.
Flint has put forth the possibility that Jaynes may have had a mental breakdown of some kind, having been overwhelmed by caring for her son who was described at one point as potentially having special needs.
Aside from functioning at a second-grade level and having mobility issues due to not being able to walk, Reddish-Day said, the 12-year-old is normal and is “thriving” in foster care. He also continues to be looked after by multiple doctors.
“He’s actually a very funny, engaging and a really great boy,” she said.
Russell Jaynes was allowed to see his boy while he was at the hospital and they have been able to bond, Reddish-Day said. The experience of seeing a family member, particularly after having no contact for an extended period of time, appears to be aiding the boy’s recovery.
It is due to this and other factors that the Washington County’s Attorney’s Office has decided to approach Russell Jayne’s case differently from that of his wife, Reddish-Day said.
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