Local News

Johnston County infant taken off ventilator, 'doing wonderful'

Posted January 4, 2014
Updated January 6, 2014

— A 2-month-old infant found unresponsive by Johnston County authorities more than a week ago has been taken off of life-support and is showing signs of improvement, according to his mother.

Jaxen Jones was rushed to WakeMed Dec. 27 after Smithfield police officers were called to his home. Authorities say Jonathan Michael Jones, Jaxen's father, abused his son.

Brandy Carthen, Jaxen's mother, said Saturday that Jaxen is "doing amazing" and was taken off of a ventilator Friday. He remained in fair condition on Saturday. 

"I even got to hold him for the first time Friday afternoon. I haven't held him in a week, and I usually hold him all day, every day. It was amazing," Carthen said. "He is definitely a fighter, and he's fighting his way back to be with mommy."

Carthen said doctors told her that Jaxen's brain was bleeding when he came to the hospital. He is also dealing with symptoms from shaken baby syndrome, doctors said.

"I was thinking of the worst. I never expected anything to get better. Based on everything that happened, I didn't really see him making it through," Carthen said. "He came a long way in a week. He's going to have a long road, but he can do it."

Sarah Aponte, who lives next door to Jones, was babysitting the infant when his father picked him up.

"When I handed him the baby he whined 'oh here we go again, this kid hates me,'" she said Monday.

He was back at her door less than five minutes later. The infant was not breathing.

"I told him 'what did you do, what did you do to him,'" she said. "He said 'I was just feeding him and he choked.'"

Smithfield police officers had to conduct life-saving measures until paramedics arrived.

Doctors found dried blood behind the infant's eyes, said prosecutors, who added that such is an indicator of previous abuse.

Although Carthen said Saturday that she isn't aware of any previous abuse, she admitted that Jonathan Jones has disciplined her other two children.

"He was an excellent dad. He took care of my other two children like they were his," she said. "He's disciplined the other two children. He has been kind of rough with them. I've spoken up. But I've never seen him physically abuse them. I've never seen it or been aware of it."

Carthen said she doesn't want to believe that Jones could have hurt his own child.

"I'm going on what the doctors are telling me, and it shows me that he did do it," she said. "Jaxen always cried with him, but the second I'd get him he stopped crying. That shows me Jaxen was crying for a reason. I'm not focused on (Jonathan Jones). I'm focused on my children."

Jonathan Jones is charged with intentional child abuse inflicting serious injury, and his bond amount was increased to $400,000 on Monday.

Prosecutors asked to raise the bond due to the possibility of more charges being filed based on the baby’s condition. Jones also asked for a court-appointed attorney. His next court date is Jan. 16.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • monami Jan 6, 2014

    She's pretty crafty though. She has been working the media to get attention for her donation page.

    Yeah, there's a backstory which was easier to find before. But now, for the media, she's in all the photos and everything is "amazing" and "wonderful" even though Jaxen is in pain, very likely cannot see and more that I won't even mention.

    Praying for baby Jaxen!

  • feistyredhead2001 Jan 6, 2014

    My thoughts and prayers are with Brandy and Jaxen for peace, healing and strength. Brandy, if you should read this.... Your children will know of your love and devotion in the future, do for them, never take him back and focus on a bright future with those babies who love you.

  • miss Q B Jan 6, 2014

    This story is just heartbreaking & I feel iffy about the ability for any of this child's parents to raise him. The little detective in me did some digging, before she put her facebook on lock down, she changed her profile pic that very day after he was charged to a pic with the two of them kissing. I was so disgusted and have not been able to get that out of my head. I pray for this baby and have been since I heard the story. I love my spouse, but when it comes to my son I take action first and ask questions later. It's also been told he had a abusive past that was known off and other issues prior to being with her.

  • HANS FOR PRESIDENT!!!!! JK Jan 6, 2014

    @mafiamic, what's she afraid of now? He's being held for abusing his kid and will be in jail for a long time. She's free of him if in fact she was scared to leave. Yet, she still stands in court and cries FOR HIM! I agree that some people fear escape and I know that's a real thing, but some people think they can't do better than garbage such as this guy. For that, there's no excuse. Maybe she needs to ease up on having kids, get her own two feet under her and she might not be so dependent on trash for survival

  • mafiamic Jan 6, 2014

    unless they take him away from the mother, he'll have no hope of a future. she didn't "see" the way the he treated this kid and the others because she didn't want to. very very sad.

    Maybe she was afraid?,many women who live in relationships or just BF/GF live in fear of their partners so a-lot cannot get help,their partners have put so much fear in em.Same with children who are abused by adults and are afraid to say something for they were told not to or something would happen to them.
    There are many "Long term happy" marriages that look peechy clean on the outside that are not so on the inside,loneliness,cheating,beating, and that is what they are used to or are afraid to leave .
    That is great they are doing good the biggest healing there is is love,love him well .

  • 678devilish Jan 6, 2014

    Wonderful news. Continue to pray for this young one.

  • JAT Jan 6, 2014

    unless they take him away from the mother, he'll have no hope of a future. she didn't "see" the way the he treated this kid and the others because she didn't want to. very very sad.

  • HANS FOR PRESIDENT!!!!! JK Jan 6, 2014

    Babies seem more tuned to their moms, but too bad she didn't recognize the sign.


    She did recognize the signs she just ignored them. Maybe because she needed his income to feed the three kids, maybe she was afraid of being alone, maybe she was afraid of him. Nevertheless, her baby suffered the consequesnces of her poor judgement and likely will again at some point in the future. Maybe not via physical abuse, but it doesn't this kid has a lot of back up behind him in the immediate family category

  • smcallah Jan 6, 2014

    View quoted thread

    If that were true in every situation where a baby cried because he wasn't being held by mom, then a lot of people are guilty of abusing babies. My baby son cried when my wife would leave him with me and she'd go to another room. Now he doesn't do it anymore, he grew out of it. He used to cry even worse when his grandparents wanted to hold him.

    I guess you better call the police on us all from that evidence.

    I'm not saying this guy didn't do anything, they found dried blood in the babie's eyes for heaven's sake. But no one should jump to conclusions when a baby cries when someone is holding the baby and the baby wants mama. No one should even come close to saying this lady should have known something was wrong if the baby cried when daddy had him.

  • lizzz38 Jan 6, 2014

    No doubt he knew bad things happened with Daddy. It's like the way an animal reacts to certain individual. No wonder he cried around Daddy and soothed when his momma took him. Babies seem more tuned to their moms, but too bad she didn't recognize the sign.