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Mom who was ‘sick’ of being reported to CPS sentenced to prison for killing 8-year-old with autism who weighed only 31 pounds

Mia A. Morrow (Berrien County Jail)

Mia A. Morrow (Berrien County Jail)

A 35-year-old woman in Michigan will spend several decades behind bars for killing her 8-year-0ld son last year, who was severely emaciated and weighed just over 30 pounds when he was pronounced dead.

Berrien County Judge Charles LaSata on Monday ordered Mia A. Morrow to serve a sentence of 25 to 50 years in a state penitentiary after she pleaded guilty in August to one count of second-degree murder for her role in the tragic death of Jaxson Morrow, prosecutors confirmed to Law&Crime.

Morrow and her husband, Brian R. Morrow, were both arrested in June 2022 and charged with one count each of first-degree murder, possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine, and possession of a controlled substance – dimethyltryptamine (DMT) in connection with Jaxson’s death. Her charge was reduced to second-degree murder as part of a plea deal in which she agreed to serve a minimum of 25 years in prison, prosecutors said.

Brian Morrow last month pleaded no contest to second-degree murder and will be sentenced next month.

Brian R. Morrow (Berrien County Jail)

Brian R. Morrow (Berrien County Jail)

Prior to handing down the sentence, Judge LaSata excoriated Morrow for doing nothing as her son, who was diagnosed with autism, wasted away before her eyes.

“He looked to you to protect him. I don’t understand this. He weighed 31 pounds at autopsy, and was 8 years old,” LaSata said, according to a report from the Herald Palladium.

Police responding to a 911 call at the Morrow’s home in the 700 block of Columbia Avenue on May 3, 2022, reported finding Jaxson Morrow lying dead on a couch in the living room. Authorities said he looked extremely thin and appeared to have been dead for some time.

An autopsy subsequently determined that Jaxson Morrow’s death was a homicide caused by neglect, South Bend ABC affiliate WBND-LD reported.

Morrow told police that she noticed her son was suffering from breathing problems just prior to his death and even admitted that she and her husband should have taken him to the emergency room the previous day, according to a report from Kalamazoo CBS affiliate WWMT-TV.

Even more disturbingly, the parents reportedly confirmed their son had actually died the previous day, but they chose not to call authorities or tell anyone else about his death. It was the boy’s grandmother who reportedly came to the house and discovered the child dead on the living room couch before calling 911.

Asked why they did not contact authorities sooner, Mia Morrow told investigators that she did not want to “let go” of her son, WWMT reported. Her husband reportedly said that he wanted to allow his wife some time with the boy before the police came.

Later that day, Brian and Mia Morrow both reportedly tested positive for meth.

Investigators also learned that Child Protective Services (CPS) had previously investigated the couple multiple times over their treatment of their son, WWMT reported.

Morrow and her husband reportedly pulled Jaxson Morrow out of the LOGAN Autism Learning Center because they were “sick of them calling CPS” to report them for mistreating the child.

Additionally, investigators spoke to Brian Morrow’s daughter, who reportedly used to live with the Morrows. The girl, whose name and age were not disclosed, reportedly told police that the couple didn’t like to deal with their son “because he smelled like urine” and would often lock the 8-year-old boy in his bedroom. She reportedly described the child as “so skinny you could put your finger around his arms.”

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.