Mother, boyfriend charged with murder in death of 5-year-old Isle of Wight boy

Left to Right: Jaye Hadley and Justin Cox were charged after a 5-year-old boy was flown to the hospital and placed on life support. Hadley was charged with child abuse,, while Cox was later arrested and charged with child neglect. (Credit: Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office.)

UPDATE (Jan. 23):  The second person charged in the death of a 5-year-old boy now has new charges against him.

Justin Cox is the boyfriend of Jaye Lynn Hadley, the mother of Alexander Levi Robertson. Both are now charged with second degree murder in his death. Cox was initially charged with child endangerment, but investigators say they found evidence that led them to believe that Cox’s actions played a direct role in the death of the boy.

“It’s upsetting,” said Cox after he learned of his new charges. He said, “I miss my family, I miss Alex. I want my life back to normal before this ever happened.”

Court documents detail multiple instances of abuse, including a time when Cox picked the 5-year-old up, lifted him over his head, and threw him to the ground. Investigators also found Facebook messages where Cox shared pictures of the boy, who had obscene words and images written on his face.

These instances now have new meaning.

“So in our initial investigation, he was charged with the child endangerment because we felt like he knew some things were happening within the home and he failed to disclose those or report that or provide care for the child,” said Lt. Tommy Potter, with the Isle of Wight Sheriff’s Office.

On Monday, investigators spoke with Jaye Hadley, the boy’s mom, as she was also being charged with murder. She told investigators she and Cox “conspired and fabricated several stories to conceal injuries.” Some of those injuries include bruises in the shape of a shoe and obscene words and images written on the child’s forehead.

“As we executed a couple search warrants, had some conversations with some other people, it became apparent that Justin Cox played a direct role in the injuries that led to the ultimately death of Alexander Levi Robertson,” Lt. Potter said.

In court on Tuesday, Cox asked the judge for bond, saying he needed to take care of some things with his kids and his home. The judge said it was up to Cox’s attorney to handle that.

Hadley is also being held without bond. Her son’s cause of death was ruled homicide by blunt force trauma.


PREVIOUS COVERAGE (Jan. 22):

ISLE OF WIGHT COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — Just days after a 5-year-old boy passed away from severe brain injuries, Isle of Wight deputies charged his mother with murder.

Thirty-two-year-old Jaye Lynn Hadley now faces second degree murder, felony child abuse and aggravated malicious wounding charges.

Alexander Levi Robertson. Photo courtesy of his family.

“This is senseless act,” said Isle of Wight Lieutenant Tommy Potter. “Originally we were talking about a 5-year-old who sustained some serious injuries, and now we are talking about the death of a 5-year-old,” Potter added. “There is no reason that this happened to this child.”

Jaye Hadley was originally charged with child abuse. Two weeks ago, her son Alexander Levi Robertson ended up at the hospital on life support. Court documents say Hadley admitted to slamming Levi’s head into the floor after hitting him over and over with a shoe. Deputies believe the abuse was happening for months.

“We don’t believe this was a one time event,” Potter said. “We believe this was abuse that occurred over an extended period of time.”

Deputies arrested Hadley’s boyfriend, 33-year-old Justin Cox, last week. He was charged with child neglect.

Deputies filed a search warrant for Cox’s Facebook page. They found messages between Cox and Hadley dissuading Levi’s discipline. Other conversations talked about Cox’s hatred for Levi, and there were pictures that showed the 5-year-old with obscene words and shapes written on his forehead.

“Any homicide case is a thorough case, we are dealing with a death of a 5-year-old and there is no plausible reason or excuse why this 5-year-old should be dead today,” Potter added.

Hadley didn’t say much as deputies walked her to a patrol car.

“Mommy loves you,” Hadley uttered.

Cox is scheduled to have a bond hearing Tuesday morning.