Afton's Mom Responds To Abuse, Negligence Claims

Afton Lived With Viles Only After Being Placed In Foster Care

POSTED: 09:45 AM MDT Apr 18, 2012    UPDATED: 12:01 AM MDT Apr 19, 2012 
POCATELLO, Idaho -

The story of Afton Allison, the 6-year-old boy who died from injuries that police say his father inflicted, is continuing.

Afton was living with his father and alleged killer, Anthony Blake Viles, after Afton and his younger brother were placed in foster care in October of last year.

Sherry Hill with Washington Child Protective Services said that in September of last year, case workers were able to substantiate charges of physical abuse and neglect against Jessica Wrigley, Afton's mom.

Hill confirmed two charges against Wrigley: Cases of general neglect, including urine stains in the children's rooms, and Wrigley putting hot sauce in Afton's mouth as punishment.

Wrigley said her kids should not have been taken away from her.

"I'm not denying or confirming (any cases of abuse or neglect), that's something we're talking about with my attorney. I'm not sure what's considered because I've never beat my son. Never in my life," she said.

She did put hot sauce in her son's mouth, she said, but because an agency told her to.

"They told me to use a watered down hot sauce in their mouth. It was an agency that told me that," she said.

Wrigley said that Afton was a little boy who wanted to grow up to be a soldier, but had also been in and out of therapy, and could have had Asperger's or ADHD, but was never diagnosed properly. At one time or another, Afton was on a number of medications like Abilify and Clonidine, and that he had bouts of self harm, she said.

Wrigley was never notified that he was being sent to live in Idaho, she said.

"I told my attorney that do what you feel is right, because I didn't even know the thing with Anthony was on the table. I didn't even know that Anthony was involved with it until two days after Afton left," she said.

Afton came to Idaho on Jan. 30.

Wrigley said the reason her attorney allowed the move was because he was trying to save her medical license, she is currently in school to become a midwife. She said she feels like she's being run through the system.

"It doesn't matter if I understand or I don't. I just have to follow what they say and say, 'Okay whatever you say I did,'" she said.

As for the charges of negligence, Wrigley said Afton didn't really have a set bed time and that he didn't have to go to school if he didn't want.

"I've been told I'm way too lenient on my children. I let them get away with everything. I let them do basically whatever they want," she said.

When asked if that leniency could have translated into negligence in the eyes of CPS, Wrigley said, "Possibly."

She said people are blaming her for Afton's death, and spreading rumors that she broke his arm or burnt him. Hill did not confirm those allegations with this station.

Wrigley said she wants CPS to be held accountable.

"If my son wasn't in the system to begin with it wouldn't have happened, but if CPS had done their job, my son would have been in Washington with the foster parents who really cared about him, and was treating him wonderfully. He would still be alive and he would still be in Washington where he actually really loved it there," Wrigley said.

CPS did do a background check on Viles, Hill said. The check produced only a DUI conviction, and after checking back in with Viles and Afton in February after a 30-day trial period, CPS felt comfortable giving Viles full custody, Hill said.

After remaining calm throughout most of this interview, Wrigley broke down when she pulled out a camera displaying a picture of Afton in a hospital bed.

"This is what people should be focusing on. He's living on now through 14 other children. And we'll never get to hold him, not because I put him in the system, not because anybody put him in the system, because some sick son-of-a beat him to death," she said.

Wrigley said she is in the process of getting her younger son returned to her from foster care.