ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Illinois (KMOV.com) – A man has been charged with beating his 12-year-old stepson and forcing him to eat screws off the ground at their home on Scott Air Force Base property. The boy’s mother is charged with endangerment.
James P. Jennings was charged with one count of felony aggravated battery, two counts of domestic battery and four counts of endangering the life of a child. He’s in custody on a $400,000 bond. His wife, Lashawn Rudolph was charged Saturday with endangering the life of a child, a Class A misdemeanor.
Captain Steve Johnson says that a school nurse alerted the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services after Jennings’ 12-year-old stepson reported his shoulder hurt while at Scott Elementary School on Thursday morning.
The nurse discovered bruises on the child’s back and arms.
Investigators said the child was beaten and tortured by Jennings earlier that morning at their home in the 4500 block of Split Rock Road, which is Scott Air Force Base property.
The child told investigators that he was punished for leaving his bedroom to eat cookies. The child was forced to eat crumbs from the kitchen floor and two metal screws. X-rays showed the screws were still in the child’s stomach, according to Captain Johnson.
The child was also forced to do 700 push-ups before he was beaten.
Officers said Jennings was taken into custody after the discovery.
The child’s mother, who adopted him five years ago, was on active military duty and out of state this week. She flew in from Florida and was interviewed and taken into custody.
Investigators said they are looking into allegations of previous abuse.
Captain Johnson said Jennings, who’s not on active military duty, has been married to the woman for about a year.
Air Force investigators are involved in the case.
It’s not yet clear if the mother will be charged, Johnson said.