Woman pleads guilty to murder of 7-year-old Kansas boy

(Wyandotte County Detention Center via AP)

KANSAS CITY, Kansas (AP) — A 30-year-old Kansas woman has pleaded guilty to charges in the death of her 7-year-old stepson whose remains were found among the family’s pigs.

Heather Jones pleaded guilty Thursday in Wyandotte County court to one count of first-degree murder in the death of the child, whom authorities identified as A.J., and to two counts of abuse of a child.Chief Deputy District Attorney Sheryl Lidtke said the cause of the child’s death was “chronic abuse.”The first-degree murder charge carries a sentence of life without a chance for parole for at least 25 years, Lidtke said.

Jones was charged along with her husband, Michael Jones, in the death of his son after authorities found the child’s remains when they were called to investigate a domestic disturbance at the family’s rented property last November.

District Attorney Jerome Gorman has declined to address reports that the boy’s remains were fed to the family’s pigs but said earlier that the child’s remains were found near the swine. He also said investigators described the scene where the child’s remains were found “as one of the worst things that they have ever seen.”

Six girls ranging in age from 10 to less than 2 were taken from the home and placed in protective custody.

Heather Jones’ sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 14. Michael Jones is scheduled for a jury trial in February 2017.

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