In her 7-week life, authorities say Trinity Jabore suffered from starvation, 13 fractured ribs and severe diaper rash. When paramedics were called to her Southwest Washington home on Christmas morning two years ago, her lifeless body, strapped in a car seat that was used as a bassinet, weighed just slightly over four pounds.
On Friday, a D.C. Superior Court judge sentenced the infant’s parents, Trishelle Jabore, 27, and Jay Crowder, 34, to 12 years in prison in Trinity’s death. The couple pleaded guilty last summer to voluntary manslaughter and child abuse.
At their sentencing hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia Wright described Trinity’s “slow and painful” death as “cruel, heinous and atrocious.”
“Today, I stand here to get justice for this 7-week-old baby who was starved to death at the hands of her mother and her father,” Wright said. “They deliberately chose not to feed or take care of their infant and to instead smoke marijuana, PCP, get high and take selfies all day.”
According to charging documents, the postmortem exam by a District medical examiner found that Trinity had suffered the injuries on separate occasions before she died of malnutrition and the effects of consuming large amounts of water that had been mixed with concentrated milk.
Trinity’s death raised questions about how the District’s child services agency had monitored the family. Before the baby’s death, the District’s Child and Family Services Agency had received multiple calls about Jabore and Crowder over the reported neglect of other youths in their family, according to records reviewed by The Post last year. But the agency was unaware of any problems involving Trinity, a spokeswoman for the agency said at that time.
As part of their plea agreement, Jabore faced six to 15 years in prison and Crowder faced 10 to 12 years in prison.
Late in 2016, Jabore and Crowder, who also were caring for their 5-year-old and a toddler, were getting by on $217 in monthly welfare payments, called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, plus $771 a month from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
During Friday’s sentencing, attorneys for the couple said they never intended to kill their daughter and struggled with day-to-day living.
Jabore had graduated from high school a year early and attended a year of college, but struggled with depression and was unable to hold a job. Crowder, while also selling drugs, peddled bottled water and Gatorade on the streets.
According to court papers, Jabore told police that after Trinity’s birth, the hospital gave her 16 ready-made bottles of Similac formula to take home. But within a month, the couple was out of formula, short of money and awaiting January’s SNAP and TANF payments.
As Judge Jose M. Lopez prepared to issue the sentences, both parents asked for “mercy.”
“I have accepted my responsibility in my role in this. I should have done more for my daughter,” Crowder said. Jabore said she was still “mourning” her daughter’s death.
“I regret my daughter’s passing,” Jabore said. “I wish I could have been a better mother to her and my other kids.”