Mother pleads to lesser charge of aggravated child neglect in 2018 death of son

Victoria L. Toth, 26, and Jayce Martin, 2, of Orlando, Florida. [Image credit: WKMG]


Victoria Toth was 24 when she was arrested in 2018 for the death of her 2-year-old son Jayce Martin, along with her boyfriend, Johnathan Pursglove, then 25.  They were both charged with aggravated manslaughter at the time in what has been called a torturous and preventable death.


According to medical findings, Jayce suffered a punch powerful enough to drive his spine into his intestines causing them to burst.  The internal damage suffered, left untreated, led to a deadly infection.


At the time, Toth told investigators that Pursglove took care of Jayce while she was at work and that she had noticed her son was uncharacteristically lethargic when she returned form work on July 15, but did not seek medical attention for him because she didn't want to see her boyfriend, who according to the Orlando Sentinel has a history of domestic violence, arrested.


On July 18, 2018, emergency responders found Jayce malnourished, bruised, and surrounded by vomit and bile.


Yesterday, Toth's attorney put forward a plea agreement that would see her plead guilty to the lesser charge of aggravated child neglect and the prosecution accepted.  Her sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled, but she faces up to 15 years.


Court records that are publicly viewable are limited to just the arrest affidavit, but the list of records indicate that during the intervening time, she has received four psychiatric evaluations.  Each of those records are sealed as confidential.


It is possible, though complete speculation, that those evaluations may have resulted at least in part from conversations Toth had with Pursglove while he was still in custody, despite a court order that they were to have no contact.


During those conversations, Toth told him that she had been utilizing a medium to speak with "Jayce."


"This isn't any easier for me," Toth said. "I have to hear...I talk to Jayce, and he tells me that this is something that we're supposed to go through."


She previously stated during another call to Pursglove that she believed she had been visited by him at home as well. "He has visited us. We know that he's visited us. We've seen the cardinals in the back yard. He's played, played with the light switches here. And, I think it was last weekend."


Pursglove has a plea hearing scheduled for March 3.



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