Utah mom charged with child abuse in connection with baby’s death

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah - A 22-year-old mother, whose 17-year-old boyfriend was charged with killing a West Valley City baby, was charged Monday for two counts of felony child abuse.

Gena Sanchez's son died Jan. 16, while being watched by Isaiah Weaver, Sanchez's boyfriend.

According to a probable cause statement, Weaver was staying with Sanchez and her three children in West Valley City.

On Jan. 16 officers were dispatched to Sanchez's home, on a report that one of her children, 21-month-old Jaycieion Sanchez, was unresponsive and unconscious. According to court documents, he was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

When Jaycieion's body was examined by both police and medical personnel, there was, "obvious bruising on his cheek, his left eye, and his mouth," the probable cause statement said. Other bruises and scars were reported on parts of the child's body, that were consistent with injuries that could be caused with a hard, thin object.

Police interviewed two of Sanchez's other children, one 5-year-old and one 2-year-old, and the probably cause statement says they indicated that Weaver had recently disciplined them by hitting them with a coat hanger. Court documents stated Weaver later admitted to hitting Jaycieion with a coat hanger over the course of several days.

Sanchez, upon being questioned by police, stated that she had been leaving the children with Weaver while she went to work. Court documents state she was concerned for their well being and saw Weaver spank Jaycieion, kick him in the back, and hit her 2-year old son on the mouth which caused his lips to puff up.

"Sanchez said that she had a weird feeling about going to work on January 16, 2018, but she went to work because she needed the money," police wrote.

Weaver admitted to police later that he had a bad temper on Jan. 16, and that he realized he had "gone too far," while he was swinging the child. He faces one first-degree felony count of aggravated murder and two second-degree felony counts of child abuse for the death of Jaycieion. He will be tried as an adult.

According to District Attorney for Salt Lake County Sim Gill, Sanchez was charged for two counts of child abuse, because on multiple occasions she had witnessed Weaver physically abuse her children, and that she was aware of his behavior while doing nothing to stop it or get help.

Sanchez previously interviewed with Fox 13, where she called for justice in her son's death.

“Instead of having a two year old birthday for my son, now I need to bury him,” Sanchez said at the time. “I will never forget you Jay, I will never forget you. You’re always in my heart, and I will not rest until you get justice.”