Joshua Oakley: Man gets 45 years for neglecting GF's son, 6, while he BURNED in scalding bath
Oakley took Camden Blair to a hospital only eight hours later but the injuries were so severe that the child died 17 days later
TUPELO, MISSISSIPPI: A 31-year-old man was sentenced to 45 years in prison on Sunday, August 21, for the murder of his girlfriend's six-year-old child three years ago. Joshua Oakley was initially scheduled to go to court for the murder of Camden Blair on Monday, August 22. However, after an eyewitness stepped forth on Saturday, August 20, with further details regarding this case, Oakley apparently decided to take up the plea offer.
First Circuit District Attorney John Weddle informed the Daily Journal that the eyewitness helped connect the bruises and injuries on Blair to Oakley. The identity of the eyewitness and the type of evidence was not made public. Weddle said, "There were also pre-existing and healing rib fractures. We had no way to connect Oakley to those injuries until the witness came forward."
Blair suffered serious burns in a bath on November 13, 2019, while Oakley was babysitting him. Oakley carried him to a doctor after eight hours. The child was treated in a burn facility in Arkansas, but according to the Daily Journal, he succumbed to his injuries 17 days after the incident.
At the time, Blair's mother was in a relationship with Oakley, a single dad of four. Blair also had further bruises that were associated with maltreatment, according to Pulaski County, Arkansas, Coroner Gerone Hobbs. However, Weddle noted that those wounds were not connected to Oakley until the eyewitness came forward this past weekend.
Oakley reportedly turned down a plea agreement months ago. On Sunday, Judge Kelly Mims of the Lee County Circuit Court condemned him to 40 years in prison for second-degree murder and 5 years for child negligence. Both the punishments will be carried out simultaneously. "I don’t know what happened that night, but I know no 6-year-old deserves what this child endured," stated Judge Kelly Mims.
In a similar incident that took place in Houston in May, a mom and her boyfriend were convicted of assaulting and starving their twin daughters, one of whom died. The twins' had broken bones and were starved. When authorities asked the surviving girl about her twin, she said, "My mom killed her." Soledad Mendoza and Ruben Moreno, the two suspects, were arrested in May after an investigation on Melanie Mendoza's death in a hospital in December 2020. Both Mendoza and Moreno were convicted of the murder of a child under ten years of age, including two charges for the mistreatment of her twin.
If you or anyone you know suspects child abuse, you are urged to immediately call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential and the hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.