Hopewell mother pleads no contest in death of 13-year-old son with special needs

Crime

HOPEWELL, Va. (WRIC) — A woman charged with starving her disabled son until he died entered a nolo contendere plea, known typically as a “no contest” plea, in a Hopewell courtroom Wednesday.

Amy FaJohn was arrested and charged in September 2018 in the death of her son, 13-year-old Jalen Goldsborough. The plea from FaJohn, who was originally charged with first-degree murder and felony child neglect, amended her charge down to second-degree murder. FaJohn’s neglect charge was dismissed by the prosecution.

The plea of no contest means a defendant is not contesting evidence brought to trial and believes it is sufficient enough to get a conviction but not considered an admission of guilt.

Hopewell Police learned about a juvenile found dead in a home in the 400 block of N. 8th Avenue on Sept. 2, 2018. When officers arrived, they found Goldsborough’s body. He died of starvation, the Medical Examiner’s Office in Richmond confirmed.

FaJohn’s roommate, Anthony Saunders, was also charged with felony child neglect. Shortly after Jalen Goldsborough’s death, 8News learned the teen had suffered severe abuse as an infant at the hands of his father, causing the child permanent, disabling injuries.  

FaJohn’s next court hearing will be on Aug. 13.

Stay with 8News for updates to this developing story.

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