New details revealed after disabled teenager nearly starved to death by parents, police say

By Leigh Frillici - Reporter

HOUSTON - There are new details about a disabled teenager who was totally dependent on his parents for care and was nearly starved to death.

Investigators said the couple's 17-year-old son weighed only 62 pounds and was covered with bed sores. Officials said the child is completely bedridden; he can't even turn himself over, but he could speak and ask for things -- he just wasn't being given the most basic things.

On Monday, 38-year-old Jason Joyner and 35-year-old Jamie Joyner stood before a judge in court charged with injury to a disabled child.  

Jason's 17-year-old son has spent the last three weeks at Texas Children's Hospital. He had a rare illness but it's alleged that the 17-year-old was utterly malnourished and neglected.

"He was very emaciated, very skinny. There was barely anything left of this child," said Roman Forest Police Department Officer Rachel Rippe. "I went to visit him and ... he's a very sweet child. It is very heartbreaking from one day to the next," 

Authorities said the boy was completely dependent on his father and stepmother for care, but bedsores suggested he did not get the care he needed from them.

"He was reliant on them for everything. They were his caretakers. He was bedridden and they had to feed him, bathe him, his hygiene, everything," Rippe said.

Court documents reveal heartbreaking treatment.

One witness said during her visit, she heard the child asked for food many times but that Jason and Jamie did not feed him, according to court documents.

According to the teen's grandfather, the child was left in his own urine-soaked bed, because the parents would not help him and that he was not allowed to get out of bed because his father said he would urinate on his wheelchair, court documents showed.

Doctors said he could have died from the neglect, but now in the hospital, he has gained about 20 pounds

"It just shows the amount of emaciation he had, the amount of malnourishment he had before he was taken to the hospital," Rippe said.

The parents said they could not afford to make bond and are still in jail. Officials said the boy and his two younger sisters are now in the custody of their grandfather.

According to court documents, the parents said they were supposed to feed him medical grade formula but the couple had been feeding him baby formula two times a day.

The doctors said that would have not been enough food, but that the child was so malnourished, they questioned whether he even got that amount, according to court records.

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