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Criminal Law Keyed to Weaver
Jones v. United States
Citation:308 F.2d 307, 113 U.S. App. D.C. 352 (D.C.Cir. 1962)
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Shirley Green became pregnant out of wedlock and to avoid embarrassment she gave the child, Robert Lee, to Jones. Initially Jones made statements of adoption but that never occurred. Then an agreement for Shirley Green to pay Jones $72 a month for the care of Robert was formed. Jones claims these payments were only made for 5 months. Shirley Green claims the payments were made all the way up to the month before the death of Anthony. Shirley Green became pregnant again, Anthony, who developed a mild jaundice condition. Anthony was released to Jones and Shirley Green stayed in the hospital for three more days and then stayed three weeks with Jones and then returned to her parents home leaving the children with Jones. Jones called a doctor to her home to treat Anthony for a bronchial condition and phoned the doctor multiple times regarding Anthony’s diet. Jones also later took Anthony to the doctor for diarrhea and the doctor told Jones to inform the mother that the child should be taken to the hospital which was never done.
Two collectors for the gas company went into the basement of Jones’s home and saw two children in newspaper lined wooden frames with wire screening cribs. The newspaper was stained with feces and roaches were all over. When the children were removed from the home Anthony was severely malnourished and well below the average weight for a baby of his age. Although the hospital tried to fed Anthony he eventually died of malnutrition shortly after his admission to the hospital.
Jones was tried and convicted of involuntary manslaughter, although the instructions to the jury never included that the jury needed to find that a legal duty existed according to the four situations described in the rule and that finding a legal duty is the critical element of the crime charged.
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