Ind. man gets 65 years for beating girlfriend’s 3-year-old autistic son to death
03/06/2023 12:46 pm PST
LAFAYETTE, Ind. (TCD) -- A man was sentenced to 65 years behind bars last week for his role in the beating death of his girlfriend’s 3-year-old nonverbal son.
WLFI-TV reports a Tippecanoe County judge handed Jermaine Garnes the sentence Friday, March 3, following a murder conviction for the fatal beating of 3-year-old Zeus Cox, who was autistic and could not speak.
Following the sentencing, Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Pat Harrington reportedly said, "We in our community wonder where is evil and how much evil is there? This child was 3 years old, was autistic, was nonverbal, could not cry out for help."
Harrington added, "I don’t know how much more evil you could have in a case."
According to court documents cited by WXIN-TV, Zeus was found dead July 5, 2021, with bruising all over his body. The autopsy conducted in August determined he suffered "non-accidental trauma," including lacerations to his kidney, fractured ribs, internal bleeding, and ruptures in his small intestine. The abdomen injuries, however, were reportedly "most responsible for precipitating death."
On one occasion, Garnes reportedly hit Zeus with a closed fist. Garnes' son told investigators that Zeus' mother, Crystal Cox, "hit Zeus on other occasions, usually with a belt."
Cox was sentenced in June to over 50 years in prison and must serve 39 of those years before she is eligible for parole.
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