This one year old facing his death on his first birthday, after being sexually abused and tortured by mother and her boyfriend

This one year old facing his death on his first birthday, after being sexually abused and tortured by mother and her boyfriend

On march 11, 2014 the little infant Hoss has been taken to an emergency room in the Cullman Regional Medical Center , the Sheriff’s office has been notified that a child had a bruising and was not capable of breathing.

Crystal Ballenger, mother of the victim and Jeffery Hugh Brown her boyfriend initially told the hospital workers that the baby had drowned in a bathtub located in the residence they shared at Monk’s Trailer Park on U.S.

A doctor at the Alabama department of Forensic sciences in Huntsville uttered that the infant had bruising on the back of his head and skull fractures, consistent cuts inside his mouth and many old and new bruises, he suspected a sexual abuse due to the rectal tearing on the body, but it could not be confirmed until the forensic tests were completed.

The forensics held the baby’s body for more tests and necessary autopsy which was released in August by the D.A’s office shows that the child suffered 89 injuries. The district attorney Wilson Blaylock reviewed for capital murder charges against the couple.

Cullman County District Attorney seek the death penalty after the release of the autopsy report that showed Benham suffered 38 injuries to the head and neck from blunt force trauma; four injuries each to the left and right eyes, 19 to the legs and arms, six to the torso, seven to the genitalia and anus, seven burns to the right foot and four to the left one. All of these several injuries occurred on his first birthday, leaving him a non-wincing small body.

Crystal V. Ballenger and her boyfriend Jeffery Hugh Brown were charged with aggravated child abuse on March 14, 2014, after Hoss Wayne faced his death on his first birthday. Melvin Hasting, the court appointed attorney of Crystal Ballenger filed a motion to dismiss in June because her client’s right of a speedy trial were violated since she has been held at the Cullman County Detention center since March 2014.

Furthermore, the motion states that Ballenger is unable to pay her $30,000 cash bond due to her indigence, meaning she could no longer bail herself out since she can’t pay the full bail amount of 30,000 dollars.

“The basis of this motion is, she’s still in jail and she’s indigent on a $30,000 cash bond. All of her rights have been violated concerning a speedy trial” Hasting said. “It’s a touchy case, it’s a sad case, but she’s entitled to be treated fairly like everybody else. She has a right to be free on bond until she’s had her trial by a jury.”

The judge Kim Chaney, denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss the case due to lack of a speedy trial.

Later in his order he stated that he would not reduce the bond due to the “serious nature of this case”.

The culprits were later indicted to new charges, including capital murder.

Crystal Ballenger was arraigned for sexual torture, capital murder of a child, and capital murder during sexual abuse on October 20, 2015.

Her boyfriend was also put on trial for the same charges. They are both held without bond in the Cullman County Detention Center.

Capital murder in Alabama, is equivalent to first degree murder in federal court, the stakes are the highest. The term is adopted to define certain forms of aggravated murder; it makes the perpetrator eligible for the death penalty. It is used in only eight U.S states, including Alabama. It could carry a penalty of life in prison without parole.


After more than five years, this devastating case comes to an end after Crystal Ballenger plead guilty to felony murder and received 40 years in state prison. The charges of aggravated child abuse, capital murder during sexual torture were dropped.

Her co-defendant Jeffery Hugh Brown received equal sentence after he plead guilty to the same charges.

Crystal Ballenger is an inmate currently at the Cullman County Detention Center.
This one year old facing his death on his first birthday, after being sexually abused and tortured by mother and her boyfriend
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