Today in Deschutes County Circuit Court, 30-year-old Bend resident Tashina Jordan pleaded guilty to killing Mason Jordan, her 7-year old son. Jordan pleaded guilty to murder and the court then reduced the conviction to manslaughter in the first degree based on the fact Ms. Jordan was under the influence of an extreme emotional disturbance at the time of the act. Her extreme emotional state was the result of being a single mother to Mason, who was a child living with significant developmental disabilities combined with her documented mental health difficulties.
In addition to murder, Ms. Jordan pleaded guilty except for insanity to assault in the first degree
Doctors diagnosed Ms. Jordan with major depression with psychotic features, and offered the opinion that she met the legal definition for Oregon’s criminal insanity defense at the time of the offense.
On the manslaughter conviction, the court sentenced Ms. Jordan to 10 years in prison. On the assault conviction, the court sentenced her to a 20-year commitment to the Oregon State Hospital.
Statement from District Attorney Hummel:
“By all accounts Mason Jordan was a loving, caring, and precious child. All who encountered him were better for it. His mother loved him with all her heart, until she broke.
Numerous single mothers of children with disabilities contacted me to share their stories of the immense stress, loneliness, and despair they experience on a daily basis. Other parents of children living with disabilities contacted me to say that it is difficult raising their children, but their child’s health should not be an excuse for murder.
At the end of the day, the murder of a child is never justified, while the emotional state of a defendant is always relevant. The resolution of Ms. Jordan’s case holds her accountable, honors Mason’s life, and reflects the mental state she was in at the time of the crime. Justice was done.”