KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- The stepmother of a 7-year-old boy pleaded guilty on Thursday in Wyandotte County Court to two counts of child abuse and one count of first degree murder for the little boy's brutal death.
Prosecutors say Heather Jones, 30, accepted a plea agreement, admitting to the murder of her stepson Adrian, whom they called A.J. They also say she admitted to denying the boy food, chaining him up and tasering him.
Police found A.J.'s remains on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015, the day before Thanksgiving. They had been called to the home when Heather Jones reported her husband, Michael Jones attacked and fired a gun at her. Heather told detectives Michael killed his son and disposed of his body in a livestock pen.
Michael Jones, 45, is also charged and on Thursday he asked a judge to appoint him a new attorney, but the judge denied the request.
Originally both Heather and Michael Jones were charged with first degree murder in the commission of a felony, but those charges were upgraded to premeditated first degree murder.
With Heather Jones' plea agreement, she's expected to face a mandatory life sentence for the first-degree murder charge, with parole eligibility after 25 years. She is also expected to receive time on the two child abuse charges.
For Michael Jones, he still faces the upgraded murder charge which carries a minimum 50-year prison sentence if he's convicted.
The boy went missing towards the end of September 2015. No one ever reported his disappearance.
In an interview with FOX 4 in December 2015, Heather Jones said her husband was a violent man and said she was afraid to leave him. They had been married for nine years.
Heather says she told detectives Michael killed A.J. late in the summer, and disposed of the boy`s body in the livestock pen.
“He passed away in his sleep, but it was from injuries that he had sustained from getting beaten,” Heather told FOX 4 in December.
Heather also said then that she was out-of-town at the time of the child`s gruesome murder, but later saw Michael committing the crime on surveillance video. The couple`s home has several security cameras.
Heather Jones' sentencing is set for November 14.