Photos Reveal Abused Toddler Duct-Taped to Wall by Mom
Source: ABC — Photos of a teen mother and her boyfriend duct-taping her 2-year-old son to a wall have been made public by Nebraska prosecutors, weeks after they were convicted for the incident in which they took pictures of the toddler for fun.
The child, temporarily removed from his mother’s custody, is again living with the mother, an 18-year-old admitted drug user.
Sentenced late last month, Jayla Hamm, who was 17 at the time of the abuse, received 10 days in jail and two years probation. Her boyfriend, Corde Honea, 19, an ex-convict, was sentenced to three to five years for child abuse and received an additional 12 to 24 months on felony possession of stolen firearms.
High on drugs, Hamm held the boy in place while Corde taped his body to the wall of their Beatrice, Neb., home using bright-green duct tape, authorities said.
In some of the photographs, the boy, dressed in a red onesie, is seen hunched over, unable to escape, his wrists firmly taped to the wall behind his back and above his shoulders.
One photograph shows a smiling Hamm posing with her son, whose fingers have been wrapped in a thick shell of tape. In another, the boy’s sippy cup is taped to a wall just beyond his reach, and he’s crying as he struggles to grab the cup.
The boy has been returned to his mother’s custody but state health officials are monitoring the home, said Randall Ritnour, the Gage county attorney. Prosecutors, he said, were investigating a separate case to determine whether she should continue to retain custody.
“This happened on New Year’s Eve. They were getting high on pot and thought this was a fun thing to do,” Ritnour said. “They thought it was a joke.”
Cops were tipped off by a friend of Hamm’s, “who didn’t find anything funny” about the pictures, Ritnour said.
The friend asked Hamm to borrow her camera and took it to a police station to show them the images, authorities said.
At the time, Honea was “out on bail because he stolen over 20 firearms. He got busted while on bail,” Ritnour said.
Police found marijuana, drug paraphernalia and stolen weapons in the open and in places where the boy could reach them, Ritnour said.
Hamm had never previously been arrested. As part of a plea deal, she agreed to drug counseling and to become a cooperating witness against her boyfriend in his upcoming weapons trial.
“It’s a matter of common sense that a parent would protect her child from humiliation and abuse,” Gage County District Court Judge Paul Korslund said at the sentencing. “And why that occurred is something we’re all asking ourselves.”