East Tennessee Teen Dies While Being Disciplined At Foster Home

MORRISTOWN, Tenn. (AP) -- In Morristown, Hamblen County Sheriff Esco Jarnagin says the death of a teen in foster care is -- in his words -- "a tragedy that could have been avoided."

Sixteen-year-old Jordan Shelton is dead after he was disciplined early Saturday by his foster father, who is a former bodybuilder.

Authorities say the incident came after Ken Taylor caught the boy smoking.

The 53-year-old Taylor hasn't been charged. Sheriff's investigators are working with the district attorney general, who will determine whether to seek criminal charges.

An ambulance crew found Shelton unconscious when they arrived. He never regained consciousness and doctors withdrew life support later Saturday morning.

There will be an autopsy today.

A Children's Services Department official says another foster child living with Taylor has been moved to another home.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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  • by Leisha Location: Cumberland Gap on Dec 4, 2007 at 12:45 AM
    I'm a former foster parent. I am having a hard time understanding how this man could keep his license for so many years. We reported a foster parent for identifying and endangering one of our former foster children online. Because I communicated incognito with this parent to furter prove their lack of regard for the child's privacy, we were chastised and our license was taken. We never had a complaint filed against us, our former kids still call us and look up to us. This man had numerous complaints filed against him, yet he got to keep his license until it was too late for this precious child. We began by just wanting to adopt, but it tore our heart out that so many kids just needed a temp home, so we decided to foster too. Bitter end is that when DCS closed our home it closed a potential adoptive home. So many kids in Tennessee need permanent homes and a mom and dad, we weren't parent material in DCS' eyes. Good foster parents and foster kids deserve a better system, a more humane one
  • by Mandi Location: Maryville on Nov 26, 2007 at 11:12 PM
    Just because a child was caught smoking no discipline should EVER result in death. The man should be charged and i pray that justice is served for the teen that lost his life over something so petty. I didn't know him personally but i worked with an office that he attended for personal reasons and he was a very nice person. People always have more than one side to them and the man that took the boys life just showed his to everyone. I hope he pays the ultimate price. No one deserves death.
  • by Anonymous Location: tennessee on Nov 26, 2007 at 06:33 PM
    yes i am a school attendee at west high and i met jordan. i felt bad for him cause others were picking on jordan. little did i know that he had a learning disability and that this would happen. i was a guy that never talked to him personally but could have spoke up for him. i belive that the man is to blame and that the DCS service should be partly to blame i realize now that it may be to late for people to apologize. i am 1 of them i hope the man gets his "discipline" and that DCS is but into investigation i have been in altercations with DCS and the buisness there conduct isnt very satisfactory. ILM of jordan shelton
  • by MWHSChick2007 Location: Morristown on Nov 26, 2007 at 05:17 PM
    I Went To Skool With Jordan And He Was A Nice Guy And Funny At That Might I Also Add That I New Ken And I Never Thought He Would Ever Hurt A Foster Child Of His....Proves Me Wrong I Hope That Justice Is Served.


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