Surviving twin details abuse, death of his brother

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by JASON WHITELY

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

WFAA

Posted on August 25, 2011 at 10:36 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 3 at 6:02 AM

DALLAS - At age 10, Joseph James isn't just well-spoken, he's remarkably collected considering the deadly abuse he said he witnessed his twin brother face last month.

"They day that he died, they made him eat a PBJ, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich,"Joseph said referring to his father and step-mother, "and the peanut butter got stuck in his throat and they still wouldn't let him have water."

The victim's mother and grandmother let Joseph share his story with News 8.

Jonathan and Joseph James are fraternal twins, but Jonathan was always a little bigger.

"His favorite color was red," Joseph recollected. "He also liked playing soccer, swimming, he was also a lovable boy."

Both boys were good in school.

They earned a student of the month award at the same time and participated in Cub Scouts, as well.

But last month, the twins were staying with their father, Michael James, 42, and step-mother, Tina Alberson, 42, when Dallas Police say the couple deprived Jonathan of water as a form of punishment.

Joseph said his twin was in trouble because his father and step-mother thought he took guitar parts from their step-brother.

"They made him stand in front of a window," Joseph said. "They put an 'X' on the floor and an 'X' on the window and the sun was coming straight through it and there was no air conditioning there."

The abuse went on for five days, police said, with liquids being kept from Jonathan until the 10-year-old finally collapsed and died.

"When we picked him up and leaned him over the kitchen chair he was shaking and moaning," Joseph said.

Joseph said he felt helpless.

"I couldn't do nothing about it because if I said something I would end up getting in trouble, too," he continued.

Thursday, Dallas Police arrested Michael James and Tina Alberson, charging them with Injury to a Child - a first degree felony.

"It should never have happened," said Krista Bishop, mother of the twins.

The arrests are a relief for her and Joseph.

Justice, too, they hope, for what happened to Jonathan.

E-mail: jwhitely@wfaa.com

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