Jonathan Lloyd James
November 30, 2000 - July 25, 2011
In a hot July month in Dallas, Texas, the temperature reached above 100 degrees for days on end. Jonathan Lloyd James knew better than anyone how hot it really was. For five days, Michael Ray James, age 42 at the time and Tina Alberson, also 42, wouldn't allow Jonathan to have even ONE sip of water. The crime Jonathan had committed to deserve this punishment was to wet his bed. Jonathan's brother told police that Michael and Tina would feed Jonathan peanut butter sandwiches and the peanut butter would stick in his throat:

"They still wouldn't let him have water. I wanted to do something, but I couldn't.
I couldn't do nothing because I would get in trouble"
Joseph - Jonathan's brother

Either Michael or Tina told police that Jonathan had been sick for a few days due to the heat and that they didn't have central air conditioning in their home. They were told that the home had two small air conditioners and some fans and that it wasn't enough to cool down the home. Tina said that Jonathan was very hot and she had put him into the tub to try to cool him off. When things seemed to take a turn for the worse, Tina said she called 911.

Jonathan was taken to Methodist Charlton Medical Center on July 25, 2011. Attempts to save his life were not successful. Documents obtained by the police indicated that Jonathan was suffering from many complications due to the lack of fluids:

"A child of his age would exhibit progressive symptoms of his dehydration including
complaining of thirst, progressively becoming lethargic, appearing dry (cracked lips,
sunken eyes), mental status changes, decreased urine output and eventually, shock/
cardiac arrest"

"At the time of the presentation to medical care he had kidney failure, severe elevated sodium
levels in his blood (hypothermia), elevated potassium in his blood (hyperkealmia), liver
dysfunction, (elevated live enzymes) and severe acid build up (acidosis). The electrolyte
abnormalities (elevated sodium and potassium levels) and kidney failure are consistent with
sever dehydration. It would take several days of restricted access to water to cause this degree
of laboratory abnormality"
Dr Matthew Cox

Michael and Tina were put in jail and charged with injury to a child causing serious bodily injury. In the household

were also Jonathan's twin brother and a step-brother who were removed into the care of relatives.

Dallas Police Deputy Chief Craig Miller appeared on television in an interview and had this to say:

"This started as a result of him wetting his bed. As a form of punishment, he was required
to stay inside the kitchen and stay in certain areas close to where the sunlight would come
through the window. Joseph's account of what took place is critical. We're very thankful that
he's been so forthcoming because it's obviously difficult to have this take place because it's
his brother, but equally difficult because it's his father that was involved in this crime. He's
actually taking a stance against his father"


Jonathan's grandmother had this to say:

"This kid, if you know Jonathan, he could forgive you for no matter what you did.
You could ground him and he would say "I love you mimi"

   
 


UPDATE:

In January, Tina Marie Alberson, who was by then 44 years old and had been found guilty of injury to a child and sentenced to 85 years in prison.

Jonathan's grandmother, Sue Shotwell, was in court and made a victims impact statement:

"We trusted you with our baby. If I could speak for Jonathan right now,
I would know, you would know, that he still loves you"


Sue said she has forgiven Tina for what she did, but other family members had not.

Jonathan's father had testified in court against Tina and he said:

"I felt like she was the one responsible for him ending up the way he did"

Michael said that on the way to the hospital he told Tina that if anything happened to his son, he would never forgive her. FORGIVE HER? YOU could have stepped in at any time and you didn't. YOU are just as much to blame as her for the death of this sweet boy who NEITHER of you deserves to claim as a child or a stepchild.

A video was shown in court of the room where Jonathan was made to stand when he was in time out and just out of his reach, was a large jug of water. Joseph James, who is Jonathan's twin brother, testified that at times, Jonathan would fake like he needed to use the bathroom so that he could sneak a drink out of the water faucet, until his
stepmother caught on and made him leave the bathroom. Joseph said while he was concerned about the health of his brother, he was so afraid of Tina, that he didn't do or say anything.

Defense Attorneys said that Tina should get only five years in prison for what she did. A Judge didn't agree and Tina was sentenced to 85 years in prison for what she did to Jonathan. In prison, Tina had made friends with Elizabeth Escalona, another woman sentenced to 99 years for the abuse of her two year old daughter.

Michael Ray James, who was 43 years old that time was due to be in court the following month.

Today is June 11, 2014 and I am unable to find any information about Michael having gone to trial.

Death occurred in California

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