Ala. Mom Allegedly Tried to Drown Son, 10, in Bathtub. To Survive, He 'Played Dead': Docs

The mother, Ashley Elizabeth Jones, allegedly threw bleach on her son and then followed him to the bathtub when he tried to wash it off

<p>Colbert County Jail</p> Ashley Elizabeth Jones

Colbert County Jail

Ashley Elizabeth Jones
  • Ashley Elizabeth Jones, 34, is charged with aggravated child abuse 

  • The alleged abuse had been going on for more than a week when the child reported it to his father, who shares joint custody

  • Jones made bail Tuesday, April 23, and is slated to appear in court May 20

An Alabama mother allegedly tried to drown her son in the bathtub after he told her that he would prefer to live with his dad, according to authorities.

Ashley Elizabeth Jones, 34, is charged with aggravated child abuse, the Colbert County Circuit Court clerk’s office confirms to PEOPLE.

The 10-year-old boy told investigators that his mother — who shares joint custody with his father — hit and bit him, according to an affidavit obtained by PEOPLE.

When the child said he wanted to live with his father full-time, Jones allegedly doused her son’s body with bleach, per the affidavit.

According to the court documents, the child claimed that he had gone to take a bath and wash off the bleach, when his mother followed him into the bathroom, “jumped into the tub with him, and proceeded to grab his face, shoving it under water” for about 45 seconds, the affidavit alleges.

To survive, the child told investigators that he stilled his body, pretending to “play dead,” per the affidavit.

Afterward, his mother allegedly locked him in a closet for three hours, per the court documents.

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The alleged abuse had been going on for more than a week, per the affidavit, when Jones was booked into Colbert County Jail Tuesday, April 23, Chief Deputy Sheriff Lee Smith confirms to PEOPLE.

The affidavit does not specify the date that Jones allegedly tried to drown her son, but court documents note multiple instances of alleged physical abuse between Monday, April 15 and Sunday, April 21, along with visible “scrapes” and “bruises,” on the child, which he claimed were caused by his mother.

The boy called his father and asked him to pick him up that Sunday, the father told authorities, per the court documents.

The father told investigators that his son sounded “distressed” and had run out of the house to meet him, carrying “only his Xbox and clothing.”

The father then told his son that they needed to check in with his mother before an unscheduled pick-up, per the affidavit, which notes that the child begged him not to before revealing the alleged abuse, which the father then reported to authorities.

Law enforcement brought the mother in for questioning the next day, per the affidavit.

Jones has not yet entered a plea to the charges, according to the clerk’s office, but during her interview with police, she denied the allegations, per the affidavit.

It is unclear if custody rights have changed hands since the incident, as those proceedings are closed to the public.

Jones posted her $50,000 bail and was released the same day of her arrest, per the clerk’s office.

She is scheduled to make her first court appearance May 20 at 8 a.m. A defense lawyer has not yet been assigned to her case.

If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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