May 26, 2016

Partly sunny

Probation for homeowners in Jesse Crum Jr. case

ELYRIA — The parents of the late chief suspect in the March 2010 death of 3-year-old Jesse Crum Jr. were sentenced to probation today by Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Miraldi.

Dallas and Therese Jones, the parents of Peter Jones, pleaded guilty earlier this year to endangering children and drug charges stemming from the search of their Amherst home by police seeking evidence in Jesse’s death.
Peter Jones hanged himself last June, shortly before he was to be sentenced in connection with an earlier incident in which he had pleaded guilty to endangering children charges for scalding Jesse while giving the boy a bath in January 2009.

Peter Jones was never charged with the latest round of injuries, which led to Jesse being taken by helicopter to a Cleveland hospital, where he later died from severe brain and other injuries.

Alyson Sweany, Jesse’s mother, is still awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to three counts of child endangering earlier this year.

Although Assistant Lorain County Prosecutor Laura Dezort argued that Jesse and his younger half-brother were put in danger by the sheer size of the growing operation, attorneys for Dallas and Therese Jones said it was only for personal use. She also said that both Peter Jones and Sweany tested positive for marijuana after Jesse’s death.

The Jones’ daughter, Patricia Jones, said her parents had done nothing but care for Jesse and his family. She said her parents have given up using marijuana and are getting the help they need.

“They’re good people and they had absolutely nothing to do with Jesse’s death,” Patricia Jones said.

Sweany’s supporters have argued Jesse was injured when a bookcase fell on him a few days before he died, but the family of Jesse’s father contends that Sweany ignored the beatings Jones gave the child.

See Saturday’s Chronicle for more on this story.

About Brad Dicken

Brad Dicken is the senior writer for the Chronicle-Telegram. He covers courts and county government, and has been with the Chronicle since 2001. He can be reached at 329-7147 or Follow him on Twitter.