Jaime Day gets 30 years on child abuse charge

By By Johnathan Manning / American Press

A woman convicted of abusing her stepson was sentenced to 30 years in prison Friday in state district court. Jaime Brooks

Day, 31, was found guilty Nov. 13 of second-degree cruelty to a juvenile. She faced up to 40 years in prison.

Before the sentence was delivered, Day wept as she asked Judge Clayton Davis to “please have mercy on me.”

The boy testified during trial that Day

only allowed him to eat grits, ramen noodles and rice; made him eat his

own excrement;

hung him upside down by his ankles in the bathroom; burned him on

his back with a sock full of rice; had one of her three

biological children help her Saran-wrap him to his bed; hit him in

the face with a dustpan; threw a screwdriver at him; burned

him with a blowdryer; and made him eat a handful of salt.

The 9-year-old boy reportedly weighed 38 pounds, was badly bruised and had hair growing all over him from malnourishment when

he was taken to the hospital in early 2010.

“He’s going to see those scars every time he looks in the mirror,” prosecutor Lori Nunn said. She said he was always going

to be asked how he acquired the scars. “People are going to be asking a lot longer than 40 years.”

Nunn read part of a victim-impact statement written by the boy: “I wish she didn’t hurt me because my feelings are always

upset. I’m always angry at her.”

Day was motivated by anger at the boy’s father, Murry Day, “and she took it out on a vulnerable child,” Nunn said.

Defense attorney Walt Sanchez said that because of psychological problems the boy had before he entered Jaime Day’s care,

he “presents one of the most complex psychological profiles that I’ve seen in 30 years of practice.”

Davis said he put great weight on testimony and a letter from Dr. Scott Benton, a specialist in child abuse pediatrics, who

laid out how children who are starved act.

“He was perhaps the other star in this case in that he was able to explain the unexplainable,” Davis said.

Davis said fundamental to Benton’s testimony, and to clinical psychologist Lawrence Dilks’ testimony, was that children do

not starve themselves.

“If you accept that, and I do, then the defense kind of crumbles,” Davis said.

Davis said other key evidence was a more-than-20-minute video shot by Day of the boy on his knees wailing. It showed a window

into Day’s mental abuse, the judge said. During the trial, Davis ordered the tape turned off after only four minutes.

Davis said he did not hand out the maximum sentence of 40 years because he does not believe Day will be a threat in the future.

“I think circumstances were forced upon her and she was unable to handle them,” the judge said. “Unfortunately, her method

of handling (the boy) was to practically kill him.”

The defense called two witnesses, Glenn Massey, pastor of LivingWay Pentecostal Church, and Bishop C.R. Nugent, former pastor

of LivingWay.

Nugent said he didn’t know the Day who was portrayed in the newspaper; there has been a lot of misinformation, he said.

“We know the sweet Jaime,” he said. “The Jaime Day I know is not the Jaime Day that has been spilt in this city.”

Nugent said the church has taught its members all their lives to work peaceably with law enforcement, but “that’s been injured.”

He promised his congregation that justice would prevail, but “I don’t feel justice prevailed,” Nugent said.

Nugent said he keeps waiting for that one intelligent adult to step forward and say they’ve seen Jaime Day abuse a child.

At that point, Davis stopped him and said that person was Katie Day, Jaime Day’s sister-in-law, who reported the boy’s condition

to deputies.

“She’s a hero in this case,” Davis said.

Nugent told Davis he respected him and the court; Davis said he had been in Nugent’s church and respected him as well. Nugent

said he wasn’t asking to retry the case, but was asking for mercy from the court.

Massey also pleaded with the court for mercy. He said Day was raised “in the best possible scenario.”

“Not to my knowledge has Jaime ever committed a crime, so I ask for mercy,” Massey said.

The boy’s father, Murry Dalton Day, pleaded no contest on Nov. 22 to being an accessory after the fact to second-degree cruelty

to a juvenile. He faces up to five years in prison when he is sentenced March 26.