- Associated Press - Saturday, April 18, 2015

KENMARE, N.D. (AP) - A Kenmare woman whose 13-year-old son died last year weighing just 21 pounds pleaded guilty to felony murder and neglect charges on Friday.

Jessica Jensen, 37, was charged in March last year after a state medical examiner ruled her son died from chronic starvation due to untreated juvenile appetite disorder. His death was ruled a homicide.

Jensen had previously pleaded not guilty but changed her plea on Friday, KXMC-TV reported (https://bit.ly/1b86FBV ).

Jensen’s son, Aidan Bossingham, weighed about the same as a young toddler when he died on Jan. 12. Jensen told investigators that her son had a hormonal growth problem and that his pituitary gland did not function properly, according to court documents.

She also said her son would eat and then throw up and that he had not seen a doctor for several years, the documents say.

She was charged with neglect for allegedly failing to provide proper care for her two other children - a 14-year-old son and a 7-year-old daughter

On Friday, Deputy State’s Attorney Kelly Dillon said Jensen didn’t appear to intentionally cause her son to die.

“But rather, it’s a gross understatement to say that it’s the most extreme case of neglect,” Dillon said.

Authorities began investigating the Kenmare woman after police received a call from Jensen who, according to court documents, told the dispatcher her son had “passed on.”

A Kenmare police officer arrived at the family’s house and reported that Jensen was sitting on a couch with a small child in her arms and told him, “He’s dead.” The officer reported that Jensen appeared “exceptionally calm” while he was at the home.

Court documents describe the boy as having been “gaunt, with bones and joints visible under the skin” and with “bruises and contusions on various parts of his body.”

A nurse practitioner at Trinity Kenmare Community Hospital reported that the 13-year-old child looked to be 2 or 3 years old, the documents say.

Prosecutors are recommending a sentence of 16 years in prison on the murder charge, with an additional five years for a controlled substance charge she picked up while in jail.

A sentencing date is set for July 7.

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Information from: KXMC-TV, https://www.kxnet.com

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