JoJo Garbosky

Candice Jones, 31, of Green Valley, and John Colan Powers, 46, are charged with death by a parent, guardian or custodian and child neglect resulting in death in the homicide of Joseph “JoJo” Garbosky III.

PRINCETON — A Mercer County mother charged with child abuse in the death of her 2-year-old toddler touted the importance of good parenting and the love of her children in social media posts.

Candice Jones, 31, of Green Valley, is charged with death by a parent, guardian or custodian and child neglect resulting in death in the homicide of her son, Joseph “JoJo” Garbosky III.

Jones reportedly watched her live-in boyfriend, John Colan Powers, 46, bodyslam her child into a bathtub, inflict a third-degree burn on his arm and engage in abuse that resulted in several broken bones, retinal hemorrhages, brain bleeds and subdural hematomas/blood clots, according to a criminal complaint on the case filed by West Virginia State Police Sgt. M.D. Clemons.

Powers is facing a second-degree murder charge in the death of the child, as well as charges of death by a parent, guardian or custodian and child abuse resulting in serious injury.

Injuries to the child were inflicted at least two weeks prior to the time he was brought to a hospital on Wednesday, Aug. 8. It was not until the time of the hospital visit that Child Protective Services were notified.

According to a criminal complaint filed by Clemons, the investigation began when she was called to the hospital to investigate the child’s injuries, which included retinal hemorrhages, brain bleeds, subdural hematomas/blood clots and healing third-degree burns on his right arm. The toddler also had a healing left scapular fracture and right-rib fracture, both of which were more than 14 days old, and a corner fracture of his right upper arm.

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On her public Facebook page, Jones posted photos of her children and espoused the importance of good parenting.

In the “About Candice” section of her Facebook profile Jones wrote, “i have two wonderful kids a son and daughter (sic) I am separated (sic) the best things in my life are these kids (sic) there (sic) my whole world.”

Jones continues to preach about good parenting in her “Favorite Quotes” post. It reads: “Any one can say there (sic) a parent but a real parent is there no matter what and is there loveing (sic) unconditionally you can not be a partime (sic) parent it’s a 24 7 job.”

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Neighbor Torrey Williams knew Jones and Powers well.

He lives two trailers down from the couple and his 2-year-old son was best friends with JoJo.

“They were down here basically every day,” Williams said, noting JoJo would play with his son.

“He was not a bad kid,” Williams said. “But you could tell they didn’t pay good attention to them (JoJo and his sibling).”

Williams said his 2-year-old is questioning the loss of his friend.

“This morning when he got up he asked, ‘When JoJo be back?” Williams said. “Literally every morning and all throughout the day he’ll ask, ‘Where’s JoJo?’ “

Williams said there were no obvious signs of abuse to Jones or JoJo, and no loud signs of domestic violence.

However, in retrospect, he noted that JoJo was always attired in long-sleeve shirts even in the middle of summer

“Even in hot weather, they kept him in long-sleeve shirts,” Williams said.

Williams said he saw no signs of abuse to Jones. Instead, he said Jones and Powers often spoke about how they made each other happy.

“There were plenty of times when Candice (Jones) was here with the kids while John (Powers) was out walking,” Williams said. “She said she was scared of him, but I thought of all the times when he wasn’t around and she could have said something to me.”

Williams has been posting about the case on his social media page. These messages often include the hashtag #JusticeForJoJo.

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Powers was scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Wednesday, but he waived the time limit for the hearing.

Jones and Powers are currently being held in the Southern Regional Jail on a $500,000 cash only bond.

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According to the website of Honaker Funeral Home in Logan, funeral services for JoJo will be held Friday at 7 p.m., with visitation from 5-7 p.m. Friday.

Contact Samantha Perry at Samantha Perry at sperry@bdtonline.com.

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