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OSWEGO, N.Y. — There’s more insight into a grand jury’s decision to bring second degree murder charges against the parents of Jordan Brooks, Lisa and Anthony Waldron. Jordan died last year at the age of 17, weighing 55 pounds. Authorities say cause of death was malnourishment and sepsis, with sores covering his body.
The Waldrons were arrested 10 months after Jordan died, being charged with criminally negligent homicide. Now, a grand jury has raised the severity of those charges, citing a depraved indifference for human life.
Those we’ve spoken to in Oswego County have been devastated by the death of Jordan Brooks. Long time advocates say the murder charges against Jordan’s parents are a step in the right direction, but others need to be held accountable to protect Oswego County children going forward.
Colleen Scott has lived in Oswego County for most of her life. A former nurse, she became an advocate for kids in her county following the murder of Erin Maxwell. Now, she’s disgusted by the similarities in the death of Jordan Brooks.
“I can’t imagine the thought process of those parents,” Scott said.
In May 2021, deputies found Jordan Brooks unresponsive at his home in Palermo. He was covered in sores, and a metal plate was sticking through is skin.
Now, a grand jury is levelling second degree murder charges against Jordan’s parents, Lisa and Anthony Waldron.
They’ve written in the indictment that the couple “under circumstances evincing a depraved indifference to human life, recklessly engaged in conduct with created a grave risk of death” — ultimately killing Jordan.
Peter Pullano, a managing partner with Rochester law firm Tully Rinckey, says it’s rare for a grand jury to elevate charges.
“We may never know why the grand jury voted the way they did,” said Scott. “I think that the parents out there who are abusers have to understand that they’re going to be held accountable for their actions.”
She’s hoping others are held accountable as well, including Oswego County Department of Social Services, which failed on multiple occasions to intervene before Jordan died, according to state documents.
“I’ve still not gotten a good explanation as to why they didn’t do something,” said Scott “I just don’t understand.”
Oswego County DSS Commissioner Stacy Alvord was not available for comment. Some in the community are still concerned that while the Waldrons are set to stand trial, we are still waiting for charges in other child abuse deaths, like baby Galaxy Ellis Cruz, who died in the care of five adults nine months before Jordan in Oswego.