A “MONSTER” dad battered his newborn son to death in a furious rage because his crying woke him up.
One-month-old Brayden died after suffering a significant brain trauma, skull fractures and separated vertebrae, doctors said.
Utah man Matthew Graves pleaded guilty to avoid a death sentence
Graves punched his son, one-month-old Brayden, to death
The baby’s father, Matthew Graves, 24, confessed to repeatedly punching the newborn to death in a plea deal that means he dodges the death penalty.
After admitting one count of aggravated murder – a first-degree felony – prosecutors in Ogden, Utah, dropped a misdemeanour drug charge and a felony charge of allowing a child to be exposed to a controlled substance.
The Standard-Examiner reports that Graves was arrested after doctors at a children’s hospital in Salt Lake City discovered the baby was suffering multiple non-accidental injuries, internal bleeding and “profound brain trauma”.
During a court hearing last year, deputy Weber County attorney Letitia Toombs said that Graves woke up to the sound of an alarm, and Brayden’s crying, at about 6.30am on September 7, 2017.
He punched the baby, and then put a pacifier in his mouth to quieten him.
DELAY IN PHONING AMBULANCE
Toombs said that while taking another child, a five-year-old living in the house, to daycare later that morning, Graves noticed the baby wasn’t breathing, and phoned his grandma for advice.
He then phoned for an ambulance.
Dr Antoinette Laskey, a paediatrician who treated the infant, said he arrived at the hospital in an “extremely critical condition” because of his head and neck injuries.
Dr Jason Lozano, an assistant medical examiner who performed the autopsy for the Utah Medical Examiner’s Office, told the hearing he’d found a significant amount of bleeding and swelling in the newborn’s scalp and brain.
Dr Lozano ruled the death as a homicide, reports the Standard-Examiner.
Cops told the court that when interviewing Graves, he said he’d punched his newborn repeatedly in the head because he was crying.
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He also said he’d “blacked out from rage” while battering his baby.
The court heard: “Matthew made comments that he is a monster, that he has lost all hope in life and is going to lose everything.”
Graves is being held at the Weber County Jail without bail, ahead of sentencing on March 5.
Deseret News reports that in exchange for the guilty plea, prosecutors have agreed to recommend a sentence of at least 25 years, and up to life in jail.
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