The 28-year-old defendant reportedly beat his girlfriend’s 4-year-old daughter to death after the girl told her mother that he hit her in the stomach. The girl’s mother reportedly yelled at the defendant during the drive to the restaurant. When they got home, the defendant reportedly beat the 4-year-old child in retaliation and inflicted the injuries that later led to the girl’s death.
The 28-year-old defendant from Michigan, Jonathan Jones, was convicted on Friday. Jones will spend the rest of his life behind bars after being convicted of beating 4-year-old Ivy Yurkus to death in 2017.
The case was delayed a dozen times, twice after jury selection had started, for varioius reasons, most of them due to the restrictions under the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jury returned a guilty verdict on one count of first-degree felony murder and one count of first-degree child abuse, court records say.
Under Michigan state law for persons convicted of first-degree murder, the defendant is slated to receive a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole when he appears for sentencing. Jones will be sentenced on April 13, court records say.
Assistant Prosecutor Jean Cloud reportedly said: “We are extremely pleased that the jury gave this child justice. Although it took 4-½ years, justice did prevail.”
On May, 2017, the 28-year-old defendant reportedly punched the 4-year-old girl in the stomach while in the laundry room of their home located.
The 28-year-old defendant then reportedly drove his girlfriend and the child’s mother, Amanda Yurkus, to work. The 4-year-old girl then told her mother that the defendant had hit her in the stomach and the girl’s mother reportedly yelled at the defendant during the drive to the restaurant.
The 28-year-old defendant was angry why the 4-year-old girl told her mother about the alleged abuse. So, when they (the victim and the defendant) got home, Jones reportedly beat the child in retaliation and inflicted the injuries that later led to the girl’s death.
After 20 minutes, the 28-year-old defendant returned to the restaurant. He was carrying the unresponsive 4-year-old girl in his arms.
The girl was taken to a hospital with a bloated stomach. Unfortunately, Ivy succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead on May 4, per reports.
An autopsy revealed that the child’s death was a homicide caused by blunt force abdominal trauma that severed her mesenteric vein and caused severe internal bleeding, prosecutors said.
The little girl also showed signs of other abuse. Her back and buttucks were severely bruised, and she had three bruises on the left side of her face.
During an interview with investigators, the child’s mother said that her boyfriend brought Ivy to the restaurant less than an hour after the little girl told her, “He hit me in the stomach.”
The victim’s brother told investigators that Jones gave his sister a beating just before she went unconscious, according to reports.
The defendant’s attorneys said that the 4-year-old girl sustained the fatal stomach injury from a fall several days before she began presenting symptoms.
They also said they plan to appeal the verdict and believe they have a chance for a reversal.
This is a developing story and it will be updated as new information become available.