LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Jurors found a man guilty on all charges in the beating death of a 3-year-old boy in Lafayette.
Jermaine Garnes was convicted of murder, neglect resulting in death, aggravated battery resulting in death and battery on a person under 14 resulting in death.
Garnes and his girlfriend, Crystal Lynn Cox, were both charged in August 2021 in connection with the death of 3-year-old Zeus Cox. The little boy was found dead on a bedroom floor with bruises on his chest, stomach and other areas of his body.
When interviewed about the boy’s injuries, Cox and Garnes gave police conflicting accounts. Cox said he had fallen on concrete and later ran into a table. Garnes provided another explanation, telling police Zeus fell off his bike.
Witnesses, on the other hand, told police Garnes struck the 3-year-old with his fist while “taking his anger out” on the child. Cox told another witness that Garnes had killed her son and she was going to get in trouble for covering it up.
Police later found a text message from Cox in which she’d told Garnes they needed to get Zeus a swim shirt so no one could see the bruises on his body.
An autopsy revealed the 3-year-old died from multiple blunt force trauma injuries to his abdomen. The “non-accidental trauma” ruptured the boy’s intestines and caused rib fractures and internal bleeding.
Cox was found guilty of murder, neglect resulting in death, aggravated battery resulting in death, and battery on a person under 14 resulting in death after her May 2022 trial. In June, she was sentenced to 53 years in the Indiana Department of Correction.