August 23, 2014

Elyria
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Attorney: Boy died from blood disorder, not abuse

Alyson Sweany

Alyson Sweany

ELYRIA — A lawyer for Alyson Sweany, the mother of Jesse Crum Jr., has suggested in court documents that a medical condition may have killed the 3-year-old boy, who died in March 2010.

“Jesse may have died as a result of a platelet disorder, not as a result of any abuse,” attorney Paul Griffin wrote in a request for funding to hire an expert to review Jesse’s medical records.

Sweany, 23, has pleaded guilty to endangering children charges in connection with her son’s death, and was supposed to be sentenced by Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Miraldi today. But the sentencing has been delayed indefinitely and today’s hearing will instead deal with the request to hire a medical expert, according to court records.

Sweany has not attempted to withdraw her plea, although her former attorneys have suggested she might do so. Griffin did not return calls requesting comment Wednesday.
It was unclear from the court documents what disorder Griffin is alleging Jesse may have suffered from. Some blood disorders can cause blood clots while others can lead to excessive bleeding.

Jesse was flown to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland on March 12, 2010, and died there a few days later. An autopsy determined that he died from blunt head trauma, brain hemorrhages and pneumonia.

During a sentencing hearing for Dallas and Therese Jones, the owners of the house where Jesse, Sweany and her boyfriend Peter Jones lived, earlier this year, Assistant County Prosecutor Laura Dezort said Jesse had been badly beaten.

Dallas and Therese Jones received probation for endangering children and drug charges stemming from a marijuana growing operation police found in their Amherst home while searching for evidence about what happened to Jesse. The charges they pleaded guilty to were unrelated to Jesse’s death.

Peter Jones hanged himself in June 2010, just days before he was set to be sentenced on endangering children charges stemming from a January 2009 incident in which Jesse was scalded by hot water while taking a bath.

Police and prosecutors have declined to say whether Peter Jones would have faced charges in connection with Jesse’s death if Jones had lived.
Sweany’s supporters have argued that Jesse wasn’t abused. They have said that the child was injured when a book case he was climbing on in the Joneses’ home toppled over. Several items, including a laptop computer, struck the boy in the head.

Sweany’s family has said he appeared normal and never told anyone about the bookcase incident. When he began acting strangely a few days later, the family has said, they took him to the hospital.

The family of Jesse’s father has said that the boy was routinely abused by Jones and Sweany and others looked the other way.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.