Hadley ordered to serve maximum sentence

Published 5:18 pm Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Son’s death by physical abuse described graphically for court

By Frederic Lee 

Staff writer 

Jaye Lynn Hadley will spend the next 20 years in prison for allowing the physical abuse that led to the death of her 5-year-old son, Alexander Robertson, last year. 

Her sentence is twice that of her former boyfriend, Justin Cox, who was also convicted in connection with the boy’s death. 

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Isle of Wight County Circuit Court Judge Robert H. Sandwich Jr. sentenced Hadley to two 10-year terms on July 24, to be served consecutively. He noted during sentencing that both orders were maximum penalties for Hadley’s felony charges of involuntary manslaughter and child abuse, to which she’d pled guilty several weeks ago.  

Testimony during the sentence hearing revealed the degree of abuse the boy suffered before he was taken to Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters where he died in January 2018. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

Isle of Wight County Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Edwards said during last week’s hearing that an autopsy revealed Alexander’s body had been “tenderized like a cube steak” from physical abuse.  

Also, Cox, who lived with Hadley in the 7000 block of Yellow Hammer Road in Zuni, had written “I’m thinking” across Alexander’s forehead. 

Edwards explained that “I’m thinking” was what young Alexander would sometimes say when Cox would ask him a question, hesitating because he feared giving an answer that would upset Cox and possibly lead to more abuse. 

Edwards called on four individuals to testify, including relatives of Alexander and officials with the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office. 

Body camera footage from an officer with the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office shot on Jan. 8, 2018 showed Hadley approaching the officer at the Yellow Hammer residence, telling him that her son had fallen from a tree stand on the property. 

Deputy Anthony Edwards investigated the case and said during testimony that Hadley’s story of the Jan. 8, 2018 events changed every time he spoke with her, which he said was four or five times throughout the investigation. 

A second video shown in court by the prosecution depicted Alexander having a discussion with his mother, out of frame, about how someone was toughening Alexander up as a way of making him “better.” Steve Edwards said during the hearing that the mother and son were talking about Cox.

 “You made a conscious decision to drive back to that house of horrors with Alex in tow,” said Teresa Martin during her victim impact statement. Teresa is the paternal grandmother of another child of Hadley’s, Alexiah Martin. 

“I shudder to think of the fear that young man endured,” she said.  

Alexander’s paternal grandmother, Sherry Boothe, said Alexander will never experience many firsts because of his untimely death, such as a first lost tooth and a first kiss. 

Patrick Bales with the Franklin Public Defender’s office called Hadley’s half-sister Mary McClelland to testify, and she said that Hadley was very easily dominated by other personalities and that she needed to be loved, stating that she has “daddy issues.” 

Previously, Hadley’s defense had requested a psychological evaluation be done to determine if Hadley was under duress and acting in self-defense in regards to her relationship with Cox. The evaluation was presented to the court, but Edwards said that it didn’t point to any diagnosis indicating that Hadley’s free will had been compromised by her circumstances. 

Hadley pled guilty to the felony charges on May 1, according to information provided by the court. 

The report is confidential, according to Isle of Wight County Circuit Court staff.   

Edwards had requested two consecutive 10-year prison terms before the sentence was ordered, while Bales had requested two and a half years of prison time.

Hadley was also sentenced to three years supervised probation following her sentence. 

Cox — also charged with involuntary manslaughter and child abuse in connection with Alexander’s death — was sentenced to 10 years in the state penitentiary on March 19, five years’ prison time for each charge. He will be under an indefinite supervised probation upon release. 

Sandwich said that if he’d been the judge ruling on Cox’s sentence, he would’ve given him more prison time. 

Hadley’s son was found unresponsive when paramedics were called to Hadley and Cox’s residence on Jan. 8, 2018. The boy was rushed to the Children’s hospital of the King’s Daughters, and injuries that were found led to criminal charges against Hadley and Cox.

Alexander arrived at the hospital with multiple injuries including extensive, widespread bruising, according to Dr. Michelle Clayton with The Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters.  Alexander died several days later.  {/mprestriction}