Lincoln County jury convicts father of child neglect in Meeker starving boy case

Kim Morava
The Shawnee News-Star
An injured and starving 15-year-old boy was within days of death when investigators found him at his home on this property on a rural Lincoln County farm in 2018.

A Lincoln County jury convicted a Meeker man of child neglect Thursday in a case involving his son, who was reportedly found living in a barn and near starvation back in 2018.

The four-day trial for Jimmy Lee Jones Sr., 37, began Monday at the Lincoln County courthouse in Chandler.

The jury deliberated about four hours before returning with the guilty verdict about 6:37 p.m. Thursday. Formal sentencing will be held in August.

Jones faced trial on a felony child neglect charge involving his son, who was 15 and weighed just 80 pounds when he was taken into protective custody on July 12, 2018, court records show.

Previous coverage: A month after being found, starving Meeker boy still hospitalized

Charges in this case — and the boy’s rescue — were the result of law enforcement and DHS visiting the family’s rural home in Meeker that day after a passerby called authorities with concerns about the boy.

The teen had reportedly been sleeping in a barn with farm animals and was suffering from severe malnutrition, according to original filings. Even though the family home was found to be stocked with food upon a search warrant, doctors indicated the boy was within a week of dying had he not been hospitalized, according to investigators. Twigs and leaves also were found in the teen’s stomach and he remained hospitalized for quite some before continuing his recovery in state protective custody.

The teen's father, along with his stepmother and two older step-siblings, were originally charged in connection with this case in July 2018, archives show. Charges against one step-sibling were later dismissed, while the others charged still await adjudication of child neglect charges in Lincoln County, court records show.

The trial was held before District Judge Cynthia Ferrell Ashwood. After the guilty verdict, a pre-sentence investigation was waived. Jones was remanded into the sheriff's custody and will remain jailed until his formal sentencing, which is scheduled 9:30 a.m. Aug. 3.

Watch for updates.