The closer we get to James Prindle’s trial, the more information is surfacing about the backstory which has brought James to the present moment. If you have been following the comments to the May 23rd post “Mommy Dearest,” you’ve seen that two people who know James’ mother Monica Sanders have volunteered the opinion that Monica is a low-life, and was such even before she abandoned James to the wolves of law enforcement, the jails, the prosecution, and judiciary.
But I am here to tell you that there is an even more pernicious character in this tale, and that is Jefferson Sanders, Monica’s second husband and James’ truly evil stepfather. This guy is no Jim Anderson.
Monica described Sanders to me as “abusive and crack-addicted,” but the depths of his character flaws are even more cavernous.
From the time Jefferson Sanders entered Monica’s life, James’ life became a living hell. Sanders made it a special point to try and destroy James. He subjected James to a steady diet of cruelty and extreme physical and verbal abuse.
One can only speculate about Sanders’ motivations, but it is a safe bet that James was a constant reminder that Monica had been carnally “known” by men other than him—and Sanders’ need for control is so pathological and absolute, the very sight of James must have ignited Sanders’ rage.
James has told us of the numerous times Sanders beat him with a switch fashioned from a tree branch, and of other times Sanders beat him with a leather belt and buckle, usually on his upper back and shoulders where it wouldn’t show at school. Sometimes the physical abuse was so severe that Monica would take some of the hits herself, just to give James time to crawl out a window and run away. Sanders would always pursue James, and after bringing him back home, he would subject James to verbal lashings that made the physical beatings seem small by comparison.
It was not enough that James was to have been broken physically; Sanders would settle for nothing less than total destruction, breaking James physically, mentally, and spiritually. The abuse was so persistent over such a long time, James actually began to believe that he was as worthless as Sanders said and deserved this treatment.
Whenever James was given a gift that made him happy, Sanders took it away in short order and destroyed it, usually with James looking on in tears and horror. Monica once took James to Walmart for his birthday, where she purchased a skateboard for him. James had had it for only two days when Sanders returned home, saw the skateboard, went ballistic, and took the skateboard away. Not content to simply confiscate James’ birthday present, Sanders found a saw and forced James to watch as he cut it in two.
When a neighbor gave Monica a small 12-inch TV, she put it in James’ room. That night when Sanders came home, he saw the TV in James’ room and smashed it to bits. In fact, Sanders destroyed at least two other large flat screen TVs the family received, smashing those as well in his fits of rage.
As was de rigueur among kids at the time, James liked to wear his shoe laces untied, which infuriated Sanders. On two occasions after Monica took James to the mall to pick out sneakers he liked, Sanders used the untied shoe laces as a justification for burning the new shoes in the trash with James, of course, being forced to watch. James went barefoot after those incidents, and many other times, too, as a result of Sanders’ rages.
Through the whole 7-year length of his marriage with Monica, Sanders always kept the family moving, so they were never in one place for an extended period of time. What friends James ever did make, those were all taken from him, too.
Jefferson Sanders always did everything possible to destroy James, and to prevent James from being himself and being valued for it.
What kind of monster would systematically torment a child and keep that child in a constant state of physical and emotional deprivation? The same kind of beast who would bully, cajole, and coach his six-year-old son Hunter to appear on video saying that James had committed the rape of baby sister Neily Shea.
This is exactly what has happened.
James’ trial was to have commenced last month. But the prosecution found itself empty-handed of any evidence whatsoever that James had committed this abhorrent and unlikely crime, so they asked for a delay to come up with something to buttress their case. The judge, former assistant prosecutor Bobby Carter, granted the prosecution its delay.
The prosecution’s solution to its evidence problem was to produce a video recording of James’ six-year-old brother Hunter saying that James had done it. I can only imagine the prosecution received Jefferson Sanders’ full cooperation. (Even though Monica and he are now separated or divorced, Sanders still exerts a good deal of influence over his children by Monica, Hunter and Neily Shae.)
The prosecution intends to introduce this recording in court as evidence, but not call Hunter to testify, as Hunter’s cross examination would expose the recording as the manipulated fabrication that it is.
We know that Hunter would likely testify differently if James were in the same room. The two brothers share a love that Sanders cannot suppress.
Groove of the Day