Dallas, TX — Accused of withholding water from their son as punishment for wetting the bed, Michael Ray James and his wife, Tina Alberson, are now facing charges in the 10-year-old’s dehydration death.

According to court documents, Jonathan James collapsed at his father’s home on July 25, after being deprived of water for nearly five days. And during that five day period, the temperature hovered around the 100 degree mark.

Police say Jonathan and his twin brother, Joseph, were ordered to spend a month with their father and step-mother….something Jonathan wasn’t looking forward to from the beginning.

In an interview with Dallas News last Friday, Sue Shotwell, Jonathan’s grandmother, stated Jonathan had contacted her in June and told her that he was afraid of living with his parents during the court-ordered custody visit.

“[Jonathan] called me and said, ‘Can I come to your house instead? I know I’m going to be in trouble while I’m there because I always am.'” Shotwell said. “That was the first time we ever heard that from him.”

Joseph James told police that in addition to being deprived of water, Jonathan was put in a room without air conditioning and forced to stand by the window with the sun beating down on him. Joseph went on to say that on the day Jonathan died, he had peanut butter stuck in his throat and his parents wouldn’t allow him even a sip to wash it down. Damn, talk about pure torture.

Sadly, Joseph could do little more than watch as his twin brother slowly faded away. He told police he didn’t want to risk similar punishment.

“I wanted to do something, but I couldn’t,” Joseph said. “I couldn’t do nothing because I would get in trouble.”

Joseph later told his grandmother he wished he had “snuck Jonathan some water.”

When the gruesome twosome finally realized Jonathan’s body was shutting down, they immersed him in cold water and called paramedics. By then it was too late…

Alberson reportedly told medical personnel that Jonathan was sick, but staff members knew by looking at the kid that something wasn’t right and were on the phone with police even as they tried to revive him. Jonathan died shortly after his arrival at the hospital.

James and Alberson were both charged with injury to a child causing serious bodily injury and remain behind bars. Joseph and another boy living in the home were uninjured and are now staying with relatives.

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