“Badger” Jackson was just 11-months old when his biological father, Brian Stewart, injected him with a vial of HIV infected blood. Stewart, a phlebotomist and violent man, had threatened the child’s mother before, even going as far to stick his hand in his then- pregnant girlfriend, Jennifer Jackson’s, vagina stating “he would ruin her” for any one else. The threats didn’t stop there. He also once threatened to inject her with an air embolism. But with any abusive man, apologies and empty promises are given shortly thereafter and the behavior continues.
During the relationship, thoughts of a future were often discussed. Stewart was in Desert Storm when his son, “Badger” was born. He seemed genuinely excited and proud, however that quickly shifted upon his return. Stewart began denying his son until a paternity test proved otherwise and a child support order followed.
In February of 1992, Jennifer called Stewart at work to let him know that their son was in St. Joseph Hospital. He had bad asthma . To her surprise, a woman asked : “Are you sure you have the right Brian Stewart? Brian doesn’t have a son”.
Stewart visited his son in the hospital. When the mother left to get something to drink, Stewart used a butterfly needle to inject his son with a vial of blood containing HIV. Because it was not Badger’s exact blood type, the infant had a hemolytic reaction.
Jennifer recalls entering the hospital room with Stewart holding Badger who was crying inconsolably. In court documents, Jennifer relived Stewart’s statements. “You won’t need to look me up for child support anyway, because your son is not going to live that long…I just know that your son is not going to live to see the age of 5.”
It was later discovered the baby Badger had full blown AIDs. After a series of appointments and near death experiences, the medical team was able to conclude the diagnosis. Through laborious efforts, Stewart was brought to justice. Testimony from Jennifer, others and his ex wife secured his life sentencing.
Recently Stewart sat in front of a parole board wanting mercy and a chance at freedom. Badger, who was named after his father Brian, ( later legally changing it to Brryan) spoke against it.
“He didn’t just try to kill me, he changed my life forever. He was responsible for the bullying, he was responsible for all the years in the hospital. He’s the reason I have to be so conscious about my health and what I do…At first, I was very angry and bitter. I grew up watching movies where fathers cheer on their sons from the sidelines. I couldn’t wrap my mind around how my own father could do that to me.”
Badger immune system was suppressed causing him to get numerous infections. He wasn’t allowed to participate in activities and often was physically and emotionally bullied. His life has forever been altered. He lost a great portion of his hearing and his normalcy at the hands of a man that fathered him.