Anthony Waldron has been convicted of murder on Monday for the death of his 17-year-old stepson Jordan Brooks in Pulaski, N.Y.
The jury found Waldron, who is 39 years old, guilty of all charges, which include first-degree assault and second-degree murder.
The verdict was reached by the jury in just under an hour and a half of deliberation.
As the verdict was read, tears streamed down the faces of Mexico Central School District employees.
In May 2021, Jordan, who was 17 and had cerebral palsy, passed away due to sepsis and malnutrition. Reports indicate that he was a mere 55 pounds at the time of his death, a weight that is typically seen in children half his age. Additionally, Jordan suffered from open and bleeding sores, which further compounded his already dire condition.
In late September, Lisa Waldron, Jordan’s mother who is 43 years old, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and assault, and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Typically, a prison sentence of 25 years to life is attached to a second-degree murder charge, which is what Anthony Waldron was found guilty of.
On October 23, Anthony Waldron’s trial commenced. However, there were some delays last week as Waldron was hospitalized after attempting suicide by taking Tylenol.
When the trial resumed on Monday, he made his way back to court.
The prosecution and defense presented their closing statements before the verdict, debating Anthony Waldron’s involvement in Jordan’s life.
During the trial, Oswego County Senior Assistant District Attorney, Courtney Venditte, provided jurors with a clear directive. They were tasked with making three important decisions that would ultimately impact the outcome of the case.
- Whether Anthony Waldron acted in loco parentis or or in place of a parent to Jordan Brooks and therefore owed a duty of care to Jordan.
- If so, whether Waldron breached that duty.
- Whether that breach of duty was a sufficiently direct cause of Jordan’s death.
In his closing statements, Lanza emphasized that a stepfather is not legally obligated to fulfill the role of a father in New York. He also pointed out that Anthony did not adopt Jordan, reminding the jurors of this fact.
According to Lanza, the law only places the responsibility of seeking medical care for another person on their spouse, parents, legal guardian, or someone in loco parentis.
According to Venditte, the in loco parentis law does not restrict the role of a parent to only biological parents. Additionally, the law does not require an individual to have standing in family court to be considered a parent. What truly matters is whether the person in question, such as Anthony Waldron in this case, acted as a parental figure to Jordan.
According to Venditte, Anthony Waldron had been a constant presence in Jordan’s life since he was only 7 months old, and Jordan regarded him as his father. Additionally, Waldron shared in the responsibility of caring for Jordan.
As they geared up for the trial, Venditte and the team anticipated delving deeper into the cause of Jordan’s passing. However, the focus of the prosecution ended up revolving around whether Anthony Waldron fulfilled the role of Jordan’s father.
According to Venditte, the prosecution highlighted that Anthony Waldron utilized over 216 hours of family leave, taking 46 different days off, after Jordan’s doctor advised them to seek treatment at a hospital in Pennsylvania.
According to Venditte, one of the most crucial pieces of evidence they had was the FMLA paperwork and the fact that the accused had utilized multiple hours on various days to take care of Jordan. “We dug up the FMLA paperwork and noticed that he had used a significant amount of time to tend to Jordan, which was a vital piece of evidence,” Venditte stated.
According to Venditte, the verdict delivered by the jury was the right one. She also expressed her belief that the prosecution team did everything possible to seek justice for Jordan, except perhaps, bringing him back to life.
Before Jordan passed away, the Mexico School District teachers and staff had informed the Oswego County Department of Social Services several times about Jordan’s poor health and mistreatment. Despite these reports, Jordan was not removed from the home.
The tragic passing of Jordan sparked a wave of unrest within the community, as many individuals questioned why the county didn’t take more action. In honor of Jordan’s memory, numerous vigils were held by those affected by the loss.
Anthony Waldron was convicted not only of murder and assault, but also of three counts of first-degree endangerment of the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person. His sentencing is scheduled for December 12th.
After completing her two-year federal prison sentence for embezzling disability funds following the death of her son Jordan, Lisa Waldron will now serve time in state prison.
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