The Stover woman accused of helping her boyfriend cover up the beating death of her 3-year-old son is due in court later this week. Jamie Litton, 25, is scheduled to be in a Morgan County courtroom Friday morning for her first case review hearing. Litton is charged with second-degree murder and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
District 15 Public Defender Max Mitchell is representing her.
Mitchell, of Sedalia, Mo., is the third public defender to take over the case since Litton's February 23 arrest.
District 26 Public Defender Karie Comstock was the first to recuse herself from the case. District 26 includes Camden, Morgan and Laclede counties. James Gray took over after that before also recusing himself, allowing Mitchell to take the case.
Mitchell accepted the position of lead attorney for District 15, based in Sedalia, earlier this year. District 15 covers Saline, Pettis, Cooper and Lafayette counties.
Litton is accused of second-degree murder and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child for her alleged role in helping boyfriend Thomas Joseph (T.J.) Presley, 21, stage a hit-and-run car accident outside Stover to hide the fact that Presley had severely abused her 3-year-old son Blake earlier that morning.
According to court documents, the couple exchanged numerous text messages throughout the early morning hours on February 23 where Presley admitted he "lost it" because Blake had soiled his pants. Presley feared the toddler was paralyzed.
Presley told investigators he staged the hit-and-run accident in an attempt to seek medical attention for the child while avoiding a life-long prison sentence for himself.
Litton said she knew about Blake's injuries and Presley's plan, but thought Presley was driving to the emergency room when she received a text saying Blake was hit by a car. At the scene of the fraudulent accident, she failed to tell authorities the true nature and source of Blake's injuries.
Presley is charged with second-degree murder, abuse of a child resulting in death and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. District 26 Public Defender Karie Comstock is defending him.
Blake was pronounced dead at 6:30 a.m. February 23 from a lacerated liver and a ruptured blood vessel in his brain. The autopsy also cited a number of bruises and other lacerations on Blake's head, torso, buttocks, legs and arms.
Litton's youngest child, a 3-year-old girl, also showed signs of abuse. A nurse examiner found she had suffered an untreated broken wrist along with visible bruising on her head, torso, legs, buttocks and arms. The injuries were anywhere from one to two weeks old.
The Department of Family Services removed Blake's sister from the home and placed her with relatives.