Arrest In Death of 3-Year-Old

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Updated: 6/24/2010 11:21 am Published: 6/23/2010 3:00 pm

An arrest in a child’s death and the mother’s boyfriend is now in the Tulsa County jail. 

Cody Sartin, 29, is accused of murdering three-year-old Jace Burgess who died a week ago today.

He is accused of causing a subdural hematoma to Jace’s brain and is now charged with First-Degree Murder.

On Wednesday, he was arrested in Stillwater at a home and is being held in the Tulsa County jail without bond.

FOX23’s Abbie Alford explains how a community of complete strangers is reaching out to Jace’s family.

Friends created a Facebook page dedicated to Jace and in the last week more than a thousand people have joined “Justice For Jake”.

A little boy who turned three on June 5th was given another chance at life.

On a the blog “A Second Miracle For Jake” created by his aunt she writes Jace was born at 25 weeks and weighed less than two pounds and was not expected to live.

His biological mother used meth while she was pregnant with Jace and did not know the father.

That’s when his nurse took the newborn in her arms and became the person Jace called “Mommy”.

His aunt says the first night at home she held him in her arms and she thought Jace was going to die.

However, he was a fighter and became an adorable, playful little boy who would wake up and say, ‘guh mornin!’

However, now he is gone and his mother’s boyfriend, Cody Sartin, is charged with murder.

FOX23’s Abbie Alford was there as Child Crisis detectives took him into questioning, Sartin refused to say anything when asked if he had any comment.

Records show in a protective order the mother filed after Jace’s massive head injuries the mother states that while she was at work overnight from Saturday June 12 to Sunday June 13th her son was shaken so hard it caused a subdural hematoma for which he had brain surgery.

The mother says Sartin was the only person home with the toddler at the time.

It also states that a month prior to Jace’s death he told his mom ‘Cody shake me’ and he had 'accidents' while Sartin washed him.

The mother also states that she noticed new bruises on him that day Jace told her about Sartin shaking him and they weren’t there when she bathed Jace earlier that day.

Three days after being rushed to the hospital for his brain injuries the little boy was taken off a ventilator.


The medical examiner ruled Jace had suffered from blunt force trauma to the head.

Police say Sartin told them Jace had fallen off the bed.

Since Sartin has been charged, DHS has thirty days to respond to FOX23 News’ request for Sartin and Jace’s history. FOX23 News is being told Child Protective Services is processing the request.

Records also show two other women filed protective orders against Cody Sartin in March.

Oklahoma records show Sartin has no prior felony convictions.

According to "A Second Miracle for Jace" blog his family has posted information about a donation fund for the toddler's funeral: Starting 6/22/2010, donations can be at any local Arvest Bank or mailed to Arvest Bank at 1515 S. Utica Ave, Tulsa, OK 74114 c/o Jace Burgess Funeral Fund. Within the next few days we will have a Paypal account linked to the fund so you can make donations online as well.

Wednesday night the Burgess family sent the following statement: 

"Jace was an amazing child.  He was born at 25 weeks, and many of his doctors did not believe he would survive.  We were blessed to make him a part of our family and poured our lives into ensuring that he overcame every obstacle.  When we celebrated his third birthday on June 5th, we were celebrating his life, his vitality, and the fact that he was not “special needs” as some have labeled him, but a happy, healthy, three-year-old boy.  His mother, Leslie, was his biggest advocate, and we are all proud of the life that she gave him.  That life was stolen from us.  We loved Jace more than words can express, and our hearts are broken beyond repair.  We are overcome with grief and sorrow, but we take comfort in the strength and support offered by friends and strangers.  Admittedly, we are also angry, not only at the person who hurt our precious boy, but at ourselves.  We allowed ourselves to be deceived.  We believed lies and offered trust to someone who did not deserve it.  Our prayer now is that the justice system will work to prevent any more innocent children from being harmed by this man, and that we might somehow honor Jace’s life with our future actions."   

-          Family of Jace Burgess

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

bsmith6 - 6/29/2010 5:00 PM
0 Votes
Women and men these days just always think they need someone at any cause.. stop worrying about sex and worry about your dam children.. She filed a protective order a little to late and probably just to cover her basis so she wouldnt get charged with anything. When she seen bruises is when she should have filed the protective order. I'm sorry but i am sick and tired of the mothers(and dads) getting away with letting thier children get abused. its pathetic your thier parent its your responsiblity to protect them when they are at home!!!!! thats the one thing parents should be able to do is protect them in thier own home. and the dude should get the death penality freakin coward

bsmith6 - 6/29/2010 4:54 PM
0 Votes
Ok. Sorry to be blunt. but i am a mother of 2 and there is no way in hell that i would leave my child with someone if i even had a little feeling they are abusing them. WTF is really going on in this world. So you knew your BF was abusing your son but still left your son with the man. you should go to jail too dam it !!!

dollymama - 6/26/2010 9:11 PM
0 Votes
Jennjenn, I probably didn't factor in his prematurity affecting his ability to express himself. I am deducing from the mother's statements that he made some ominous statements, and had numerous bruises that were unexplained. Part of what is so hard to swallow about this incident, is the fact he survived so much, and had to die at the violent hands of another. It's just so senseless.

AAlford - 6/26/2010 1:42 AM
0 Votes
please read the family's statement. especially the last part of the statement. You may have a better understanding of what was going on.

jennjenn - 6/25/2010 11:53 PM
0 Votes
for those who want to comment on the ability of a three year old to accurately articulate his feelings, it is important to realize that this little boy was born at 25 weeks gestation. he was not even expected to live at birth, so he was understandably a bit behind on developmental milestones. So I guess I agree dollymama, that this is not the case in ALL children.

avilez - 6/25/2010 8:36 PM
1 Vote
sartin will get what is comming to him

avilez - 6/25/2010 8:28 PM
0 Votes
to jaces family you guys are in my prayers and my love is with you. and to jace may you rest in peace you are now free. i am 23 years old with a 4 year old son and con not imagine my life without him. i can not imagine the pain the family is going through. i hate to say this but i knew cody and i hated him fromthe start. he was dating my best friend i saw the abuse right away and she told me what happened. and hated him for it. to jaces family iam so sorry.

dollymama - 6/25/2010 12:46 PM
0 Votes
bowbeecat-I too am a mother. At three my kids were very articulate. I recognize that's not the case in all children. But, in the mother's own words she saw bruises that could not be explained. She also stated that he told her that he had been shaken. I don't think you have to be a psychic, as you suggest, to put two and two together. If there was anything that she was unclear about, she should have erred on the side of caution. Also, if he was as good to her as you state, why were there TRO's in March? I cannot believe the amount of effort to defend this woman! Don't misunderstand, I hope that Sartin suffers greatly until the needle is put in his arm. Nor, do I think that this mother wanted anything to happen to her child. But, she failed that child. That is something I am unable to stomach. Nor, these excuses for her behavior and choices. We are number one in the nation for child murders. The reason may be clarified right here. Too many willing to make excuses for those who allow the heinous abuse of their children. If I had ever failed my children like that, they wouldn't have to arrest me. I would take my own life, I wouldn't be able to live knowing that my child is dead. Any mom who wouldn't lay her life down for her child, in my opinion, isn't fit to be a mother. The very sad bottom line is that this little one died, he deserved better. He struggled as a preemie, defied the odds to live, only to be killed by a monster. A monster the mother brought into his life. What defense is there for that...?

bowbeecat - 6/25/2010 6:26 AM
0 Votes
As a mother of 4 children, I will tell you Dollymama, that when a toddler who barely knows how to talk says something, even being his mother you don't necessarily understand what he is talking about. I am certain that she didn't comprehend what he meant when he said that a month ago. Any mother whose child says something like that amongst the many other bits and pieces of incoherent ramblings that a toddler produces wouldn't catch on to what he meant. Unless you are psychic and can read the mind of someone who can't really speak well yet, there is often no way to know what they are thinking or what they are trying to say..Because she couldn't understand what Jace was talking about, she had no clue. She did not suspect that they guy was hurting her baby. She was completely surprised, shocked, and crushed when this happened..He had been good to her and, at least in her presence, good to her boy..She did not have any idea of how he treated Jace when she was not around...

dollymama - 6/24/2010 9:51 PM
1 Vote
Sorry Luvmykids! Not buying a word of it. She admits the child told her what was happening, she allowed him to stay alone with that little boy. The minute he told her and she didn't move that child to a safe place, then pursue it with the authorities she became an accomplice to murder. She should be in jail as well. Con-artist is one really lame excuse for stupidity and neglect. If you knew the "whole story" where the hell were you? Now, who appears "stupid". Let me guess, you've been in her shoes,trying to choose between a man or your children. That's a no brainer to most.
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