Indiana woman convicted in 3-year-old son's beating death

Updated 5/20/2022 2:26 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- A northwestern Indiana woman has been convicted in the death of her 3-year-old son, who died last year after her boyfriend allegedly punched the boy repeatedly.

A Tippecanoe County jury on Thursday convicted Crystal Cox of murder, neglect of a dependent resulting in death, aggravated battery resulting in death and battery resulting in death of a person younger than 14 years old.


Prosecutors said Cox allowed her boyfriend, Jermaine Garnes, to punch her son, Zeus, in the chest several times, rupturing his intestines and kidneys and breaking his ribs. A forensic pathologist testified the boy was also covered in bruises and cuts, the Journal & Courier reported.

Deputy Prosecutor Cassidy Laux told jurors Zeus died long before a 911 call was placed and that Cox and Garnes staged the couple's Lafayette home to fit their story of caring parents tending to a sick child.

Laux cited testimony from paramedics that Zeus was cold to the touch when they arrived at the home on July 5, 2021.

After the verdict, Cox's attorney said she would appeal her conviction.

Garnes' trial in the boy's death is set for October. He faces the same charges Cox had faced in her trial.

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