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Utah man ordered to life in prison for murder of toddler during potty training

By Annie Knox, KSL | Posted - Apr. 18, 2019 at 4:40 p.m.

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FARMINGTON — A Layton man who beat his girlfriend's 2-year-old son to death out of rage over potty training has been ordered to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Second District Judge John Morris on Wednesday called Joshua Schoenenberger's behavior "indifferent and cruel," the Standard-Examiner newspaper reported. "I can tell you this court has not heard any expression of remorse or any apologies."

A jury in October found Schoenenberger guilty of aggravated murder, a first-degree felony.

In May 2015, James "JJ" Sieger Jr. was taken off life support after two days in the hospital. He succumbed to extensive injuries, including tearing in his colon, deep bruises and head trauma.

Schoenenberger's defense attorney Ed Brass argued at trial the state failed to provide DNA evidence even though investigators took swabs from Schoenenberger, and his client only confessed after a 13-hour interrogation. Prosecutors had argued Schoenenberger grew more and more frustrated after the boy ripped out blinds and defecated in his room.

On May 9, 2015, when JJ soiled his diaper, police said Schoenenberger held feces in the boy's face. As he was washing the boy off, the toddler urinated and defecated, and Schoenenberger squeezed him before dropping him on the tile floor and stepping on him, but didn't mean to hurt him, he told police.

The child's mother, Jasmine Bridgeman, was sentenced in 2016 to at least one and up to 15 years in prison after admitting she lied about her son's injuries.

Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty for Schoenenberger in the case.


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