WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — A Winston-Salem man has been sentenced in the Forsyth County Superior Court to several charges related to the death of his 7-month-old son, according to Forsyth County District Attorney James R. O’Neill.
On July 4, 2019, Winston-Salem police responded to a 911 call about a child on the 1900 block of Franciscan Drive at around 10:08 a.m.
At the scene, officers and emergency personnel found the 7-month-old, Christion Vaughn Jones Jr., unresponsive with a visibly distressed abdomen. Jones Jr. was taken to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center for treatment but attempts to resuscitate him failed and he died at the hospital.
Jones Jr.’s cause of death was determined to be blunt force injuries to the abdomen and chest.
Investigators determined that Jones Jr. was sleeping in an upstairs bedroom also occupied by his father Christion Vaughn Jones Sr., his mother, and his aunt. Jones Sr.’s mother also lived in the home.
Around 10:00 a.m. on July 4, 2019, Jones Sr.’s mother was downstairs in the home and heard Jones Jr. crying loudly and then yelled for Jones Sr. to come to take care of his child.
Jones Sr. admitted in multiple interviews with the Winston-Salem Police Department that he then woke up while the other two adults remained asleep.
Jones Sr. claimed that he took Jones Jr. to the bathroom while preparing a bottle and then carried him downstairs to the kitchen area. Jones Sr. then claimed that Jones Jr. was sitting upright in a chair when he slumped over and became unresponsive, he then claims that he and the child’s mother rendered aid to Jones Jr. before calling 911.
Officers and emergency personnel attempted life-saving measures on Jones Jr. when they arrived at the scene before taking him to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
Jones Sr. claimed that Jones Jr. appeared fine until slumping over and becoming unresponsive. he provided no explanation to investigators about Jones Jr.’s healing rib fractures.
Dr. Lantz, a forensic pathologist, formed the opinion that Jones Jr.’s internal injuries were so significant that death would have occurred within minutes. Lantz also stated that Jones Jr.’s injuries would have caused his abdomen and chest to fill with air so quickly that he would not have been able to cry out after the injuries were inflicted.
Jones Sr. plead guilty to the following charges:
- Second-degree murder
- Intentional child abuse causing serious bodily injury
Jones Sr. was sentenced to a minimum of 20 years and a maximum of 25 years in the NC Department of Corrections on Thursday.