Fatal abuse case to grand jury

Published 6:28 pm Tuesday, August 21, 2018

By Dale Wolf

Staff writer

Internet searches concerning adults enjoying producing pain in children were found on the phone of one of the accused in a child abuse case turned deadly, according to testimony Monday in Isle of Wight County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. 

The second-degree murder charges against Jaye Lynn Hadley and her boyfriend, Justin Cox, have advanced to a grand jury following a preliminary hearing.

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The case centers on the January death of Alexander Levi Robertson, 5, who arrived at the hospital with a “multitude of injuries,” including extensive, widespread bruising and requiring life support, according to testimony by Dr. Michelle Clayton, medical director of the Child Abuse Program at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

Clayton testified that the child had bruising consistent with “severe application of force that was not self-inflicted.” His “constellation of injures” included retinal hemorrhages, she said. 

Dr. Michael Hays conducted Robertson’s autopsy. He listed the cause of death as “complications of blunt force trauma to the head.”

Emily Lee, Cox’s ex-wife, testified she was told Robertson had had a seizure.

Lee testified that she later overheard Cox and Hadley going over their story, and that Hadley had problems with this and repeatedly burst into tears. Lee testified that she further overheard Cox expressing concern about losing his security clearance and telling Hadley he would make financial arrangements for her if she were to be locked up.

Sgt. Anthony Edwards of the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office testified that Hadley had told him several times that she was a bad mother.

In response to a question of whether Cox’s phone contained a search “concerning adults enjoying producing pain in children,” Edwards testified that there were multiple such searches. He also testified that Hadley admitted slamming her son to the floor.

One of Cox’s sons testified to seeing his father beat Robertson with a shoe. The shoe belonged to Cox’s other son.

Hadley and Cox had lived in the 7000 block of Yellow Hammer Road. The boy’s biological father lives in Sussex County, according to the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office.  {/mprestriction}