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Mother of 2-year-old killed in abuse case pleads guilty to obstructing justice

FARMINGTON — A Layton woman has pleaded guilty to obstructing justice in the death of her 2-year-old son, after police say the boy succumbed to violent abuse at the hands of his mother's boyfriend.

Jasmine Bridgeman, who turns 24 next month, pleaded guilty Monday to obstructing justice, a second-degree felony. Investigators say she initially lied to hospital staff and police about how her son had been injured when she and her boyfriend, 34-year-old Joshua Schoenenberger, took the toddler to Davis Hospital and Medical Center.

James "JJ" Sieger Jr. was taken off life support May 11, 2015, two days after he had been brought in with extensive injuries including tearing in the his colon, damage in his abdomen, deep bruising, head trauma and injuries to his rectum and genitalia, according to a medical examiner. His death was ruled a homicide, the result of blunt-force trauma to the abdomen.

Schoenenberger has been ordered to stand trial on aggravated murder, a first-degree felony and a capital offense, in connection with JJ's death.

According to police, Schoenenberger became frustrated with the boy, who was struggling with potty training and would soil his diaper before spreading the mess around the house, 224 E. 1450 North. After JJ soiled his diaper last May, Schoenenberger took the boy up to shower off, then became angry and smeared feces on his face before forcefully squeezing his stomach, investigators say.

Schoenenberger told a detective he then dropped JJ onto the bathroom floor and deliberately stepped on him, according to the officer's testimony in a preliminary hearing earlier this year.

Police said Bridgeman lied several times about what had happened at the Layton home before telling detectives that Schoenenberger had become upset with JJ.

The couple told doctors that they found JJ face down in the bathtub after he was left unattended, but doctors found no evidence of fluid in the boy's lungs, charging documents state.

Bridgeman told police that, as they drove to the hospital, her boyfriend asked her to lie to investigators about what happened, a police report states.

Bridgeman is scheduled to be sentenced on April 11.

Email: mromero@deseretnews.com

Twitter: McKenzieRomero